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History School Trips to Waterloo

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The 1815 Battle of Waterloo is one of the most famous European battles. Even at the time, the clash between the Duke of Wellington’s British forces and the troops of the Seventh Coalition against Napoleon was known throughout Europe.

Perfect for Key Stage 3 / GCSE and A Level

The new national curriculum at Key Stage 3 cites that pupils should learn about Britain during 1745-1901. A tour to explore the battlefields of Waterloo would draw out the themes of Britain and the wars with France, Britain and Europe, and France and Napoleon.

A visit would also support topics and themes for GCSE and A Level, including ‘The changing nature of warfare’, ‘France and the Napoleonic wars’ and ‘Britain and Europe in the nineteenth century’.

The benefits of a guided tour


Napoleon as King of Italy

Our expert guides will bring the sites to life for your students, who can:

  • Understand why the battle is still remembered 200 years on
  • Explore how earlier battles and wars contributed to the battle plans and tactics
  • Examine the leadership of the Duke of Wellington
  • Discover the contribution made by the different European nation troops
  • Learn about the pivotal role played by the Prussian army
  • Discuss the weaponry used and medical provision available in 1815
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Study Visits

Waterloo History Study Visits

Waterloo in Belgium is the site of one of the British forces most famous battles in 1815. A visit there supports learning about Britain in the nineteenth century, technology and warfare, and Britain’s historic relationship with Europe. The sites themselves are in a compact area and can be covered in one or two days. Travelling with a guide ensures that the detail of the battle as well as the historic build up and impact of the 18 June 1815 are fully understood, while standing on the sites that witnessed Napoleon’s last stand and Wellington’s victory.

Quatre Bras The Caillou Museum Ligny and The Gérard Museum Waterloo: Château Hougoumont Wellington Museum The Lion’s Mound Memorial and Lion’s Mound Visitors’ Centre
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Waterloo Sample Itineraries

Your bespoke itinerary will include the appropriate balance of educational visits and leisure excursions to fill your chosen duration and meet your aims and objectives. Your dedicated School Tour Coordinator will offer advice and recommendations with the sole aim of creating the perfect itinerary for your group.

Our recommendation

A visit to Waterloo could be a stand-alone tour of one or two days, or some sites could be visited in a half day, added onto another tour to either France or Belgium.

Stand-alone tours

To study all levels of the battle and its longer build up and history, a two day, one night tour would be advisable, however a one day tour may be available for your school depending on your location.

Day 1: Groups take the Eurostar, or coach and ferry, to Brussels, then take a coach to visit the sites during the afternoon. You will be based in Brussels overnight.
Day 2: Spend time visiting a range of available sites, including:

  • Wellington Museum
  • Lion’s Mound and Visitors’ Centre
  • Hougoumont Chateau
  • Ligny – The Gérard Museum and surrounding points
  • The French HQ at La Belle Alliance
  • Napoleon’s Headquarters at Le Caillou

Return to the UK in the late afternoon.

Combined tours


Sir Arthur Wellesley,
1st Duke of Wellington

To understand the basics of the battle and its key position in history and historical memory, a half day tour would be sufficient. Below are examples of tours where you may add on a half day excursion to Waterloo.

Battlefields tour to the Western Front:

A half day excursion can be added in at either the start or end of your visit to the Western Front.
Sites to include can be:

  • Wellington Museum
  • Lion’s Mound and Visitors’ Centre
  • Hougoumont Chateau
  • Ligny: The Gérard Museum and surrounding area


Waterloo Accommodation

VJH Brussels Youth Hostel

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Perfectly located to explore the monuments, museums and attraction of Belgium’s capital city, the VJH Brussels Youth Hostel makes a great base for a short trip to Belgium. Waterloo is just a short drive to the south of the city. The hostel facilities include a TV room with board games, free WIFI, a garden and terrace and a dining hall where breakfast is served. 41 of the hotel’s 48 beds are en suite and can sleep up to 4 people in each.

VJH Brussels Youth Hostel
VJH Brussels Youth Hostel VJH Brussels Youth Hostel VJH Brussels Youth Hostel

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