Date: Sunday, August 1st, 2021
Path: Own route
Distance: 17,4 km
Descent: 236m I chose Ransbeck as the starting point for this short day hike. The village is situated a stone's throw away from the place where Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Ransbeck is lies on the GR126 (Brussegem > Membre-sur-Semois) and is known for its "dries" (read: "drees"). A "dries" is a mostly triangular square, often overgrown, and surrounded by houses and is very typical for the region. At the end of the hike I'll encounter another one in Ohain.
We walk south towards Plançenoit, passing by the battlefields of Waterloo. If you look closely, you can see the Lion of Waterloo in the west. But this time it's not the battlefields I'm after, although there are several references to the battle along the way. In Plançenoit we have to stop, because our stomachs are rumbling and the rain is also falling. The church is an ideal place to take shelter with my fellow hikers. The village was the scene of some bloody fighting during the battle. You don't see much of it, but the stately Prussian monument north of the village centre, a commemorative plaque on the church and an information board do refer to it.
After Plançenoit the trail leads through the little valley of the Brous and the Bois Impérial to sleepy Maransart. A small stretch on tarmac follows until the old station of Maransart-Aywières. Then it goes through a small nature reserve along the river Lasne. After about 13 km, you pass the monument to the Count of Schwerin, leading a regiment of Prussian cavalry during the Battle. He died during a confrontation with the French and was buried on the spot. Two years after the battle, his widow had a monument erected in the same place.
Do you also want to try this beautiful walk? Download the GPX of it here:
Met het openbaar vervoer: Ransbeck is tijdens het weekend niet bereikbaar met het openbaar vervoer. Wil je de tocht in het weekend doen én met het OV, dan kan je vanuit Plançenoit of Maransart (bus 36 vanaf Station Braine L'Alleud) vertrekken.