Please find driving directions and map below the main text
The victory won by the allies at the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815, marked a turning point in European history. It saw the fall of Napoleon’s Empire and marked the end of his Hundred Days return from exile and his abdication. It also saw the restoration of France’s monarchy to the throne in the form of Louis XVIII, who continued to reign until his death in 1824.
Fought on Belgian soil that was then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, the battle waged for hours around a number of farms in the vicinity of Mont St-Jean and the picturesque village of Plancenoit.
Napoleon’s return to power from exile in March 1815 was to be opposed by the Seventh Coalition, made up of Austria, Prussia, Russia and the United Kingdom, whose leaders bound themselves to put 150,000 men each into the field to end the French dictator’s rule.
Our day on the battlefield will be a very different experience from the normal tourist visit that includes the Lion’s Mount (Butte de Lion), the Panorama and the Visitor Centre/Memorial Museum. All these everyone can do on their own.
Our visit will be led by a Waterloo historian and official 1815 guide, Michael Farrar, who will begin with a talk in the morning putting the scene in perspective. We will learn why there was a breakdown in the European balance of power and why the fight to rid Europe of Napoleon ended in Waterloo. Michael will also look at the resulting Congress of Vienna and what might have been the outcome had not Wellington and Blucher put an end to Napoleon’s progress.
After a light lunch we will get on a coach to tour the battlefield where Michael will take us physically through the chronology of the events which led up to the Allies’ victory. Our tour will take us to some of the lesser visited but strategically important sites on the battlefield.
We will meet at Anglican-Episcopal All Saints’ Church complex on the edge of the battlefield in Braine l’Alleud for our talk and lunch. There is ample private parking and a bus from Brussels stops nearby. The coach will return us there for tea and coffee afterwards.
From Brussels: Join Brussels Ring at Groendaal and take exit 26. At second roundabout take third exit. All Saints’ is immediately on your right. Cross over the lane of traffic coming from your right.
From Antwerp, Liège and west: Take Brussels Ring direction Namur/Paris and continue to exit 26. Then as above.
From Nivelles and the west: Take Brussels Ring direction Zaventem and then take exit 25. Turn left on leaving the motorway and right at traffic lights on N27/Chaussée de Nivelles. Just before first roundabout, turn right into All Saints’ car park (beside Lexus showroom).