Walloon Brabant Holiday Guide

Under an hour south of Brussels, the region of Walloon Brabant is like Belgium in miniature, with a beguiling mix of picturesque towns, green countryside, medieval chateaux and outdoor activities

The most famous historic site in Walloon Brabant is Waterloo, where Napoleon’s French forces were defeated by the British and Prussian armies in 1815. Explore locations related to the battle, including the Lion’s Mound with its views across the battlefield. There are also several museums, including Napoleon’s last headquarters and the Hougoumont Farm, preserved as it was in the aftermath of the battle. Take a walk along the Promenade du Lion – a walking trail that takes you past the main sites of interest.

One of the highlights of Walloon Brabant is exploring the well-preserved medieval centres of towns such as Nivelles and Wavre, with their narrow, cobbled streets and striking landmarks, such as Nivelle’s Collegiate Church of St Gertrude – one of the largest Romanesque churches in the world. Villers Abbey, not far from Nivelles, is home to a well-maintained medieval garden and a microbrewery run by the monks.

To enjoy local art and culture head to Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, where the rural village centre was joined in the 1970s by a modernist new town built to accommodate the growing university. The student population means there is a lively cultural scene, and the town is also a draw for art-lovers who come to explore the life and work of Hergé – creator of Tintin.

One of the best ways to explore the villages and countryside of Walloon Brabant is to rent a bicycle and follow the numerous waymarked routes through the region. There are also walking routes, with several country walks near Lake Genval in the north of Walloon Brabant. The lake is also popular for sailing and canoeing.

Walloon Brabant also has various culinary specialities. Enjoy the local food and drink by trying the sweet and savoury tarts, the cured sausage and the general abundance of excellent local produce – all best accompanied by the locally brewed beer that Belgium is famous for.

Spend a weekend enjoying Walloon Brabant’s medieval towns or a longer stay taking in the region’s full history; Walloon Brabant makes a great destination for all kinds of holiday.

Guide to Exploring Walloon Brabant

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