Visiting the 1815 Waterloo battlefield...

It was "The closest run thing you ever saw in your life", according to the Duke of Wellington.  And if he'd lost, perhaps you'd be reading this website in French.  You can visit the site of the Battle of Waterloo, climbing the Butte de Lion (the lion monument, built on a man-made mound in 1823-1826) for a superb view over the whole battlefield.  Next to the Lion is a visitors centre which explains what happened, a panorama (a circular building built in 1912 which houses a 360 degree panorama painting of the battle) and across the road is a small wax museum. 

The visitor centre is open 7 days a week, all year.  For visitor information, see www.waterloo1815.be.  There are tours of the battlefield starting from the visitors centre.  It makes a great day trip from Brussels...

How to reach Waterloo...

You can travel from London St Pancras to Brussels Midi in just 2 hours by Eurostar, see here.

Then take a local train from Brussels Midi to either Waterloo or the next stop, Braine l'Alleud.  You can look up train times & prices at www.belgiantrain.be and either buy a ticket online or buy at the station from the self-service ticket machines or staffed ticket office.  No reservation or advance purchase is necessary, there are no reservations, it's a turn-up-and-go train service.

Trains to Waterloo run once an hour from Brussels Midi, Brussels Central & Brussels Nord, taking 25 minutes from Brussels Midi.  Going to the original Waterloo station gives you a photo opportunity in front of the station name sign(!) but the town & station are actually 5.3 km from the battlefield. 

A taxi from Waterloo railway station to Waterloo Battlefield will cost around 20 each way, although there aren't usually any taxis waiting at the station so call Taxis Fabrimone on +32 2 354  28 41 or Taxis Waterloo on +32 2 351 26 26.

Braine l'Alleud is much closer to the battlefield and museums, just 2.7km away.  You can walk it in 35 minutes, or take the 'W' bus which leaves outside the station every 15-30 minutes, takes 8 minutes & costs around 2.50, or take a taxi.  Map showing walking route from Braine l'Alleud station to battlefield.  Trains to Braine l'Alleud are more frequent than those to Waterloo, they run from Brussels every half hour with the fast ones taking just 14 minutes non-stop. 

The departure boards at Brussels Midi will only show the train's final destination, so it can help to know that Waterloo and Braine l'Alleud are on the line from Brussels to Nivelles & Charleroi.  See Brussels Midi station guide.

Waterloo station, Belgium   The Butte de Lion monument at Waterloo, Belgium   Panorama building and visitor centre, seen from the top of the Butte de Lion

Arrival at Waterloo station, a few miles to the battle site...

 

The 'Butte de Lion', built in 1823-1826 on the site of the allied front line at the Battle of Waterloo.  226 steps, 41 metres high.

 

View down the steps of the Butte de Lion, showing the 1912-built Panorama building and visitors centre.  The British front line was along the road...


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