Emperor Napoleon’s Decline & Fall

About the tour: Emperor Napoleon’s Decline & Fall

Tour Introduction

From the German War of Liberation of 1813, to the Campaign in France 1814 and the Hundred Days’ 1815, our new tour is designed to give an appreciation of some of Napoleon’s victories and defeats in the aftermath of the 1812 retreat, from Moscow to Waterloo. Join us as we travel through Holland, Belgium and France as we study Napoleon fought battles, locations and events leading up to, and including, his defeat at Waterloo.

Tour Includes

  • 11 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Historical Guide
  • Historical visits as described
  • Free local joining points
Book Now

Once you have booked your battlefield tour either online, or by telephone (01709 385 624), you have the flexibility of how you pay off the remainder of your balance. You can -

  1. Use our balance payment facility online to make and track your card payments. You can pay as much as you want up until your final due date or pay it all, the choice is yours.
  2. Send payments via online banking.
  3. Send payments via cheque.
  4. Call us and make a card payment, either a small amount or as lump sum until your final due date.

Our contact and online banking payment details will be on your confirmation invoice to remind you of your choices.

Abta - Travel with confidence
Atol protected

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Local departure by coach or Door-to-Door service, then to Holland for an overnight stay.

Day 2 - The Prussian Fourth Coalition Battles of Jena/Auerstaedt 1806

We head east today, as we learn about the resounding 1806 Prussian defeats at Jena and Auerstaedt. These defeats led to Prussia becoming a French ‘client state’ until the advent of the German Liberation War 1813.

We stay in Jena overnight.

Included meals: Breakfast

Battle of Jena

Battle of Jena (2)

Key Visits

  • Battle of Jena

Day 3 - 1813 Battles of Lutzen and Batzaun

We leave Jena and head towards Lutzen, which is considered to be one of Napoleon’s masterly fought victories, though he conceded that the Prussian’s ‘were no longer the wooden toys of Frederick the Great’.

Although victorious at Batzaun, a lack of French cavalry, failures by subordinates, including the Emperor himself, plus a lengthy armistice (much to Napoleon’s later great regret), permitted the Coalition forces to regroup and fight another day.

We move on to Dresden where we stay for two nights.

Included meals: Breakfast

Battle of Lutzen

Battle of Lutzen (2)

Key Visits

  • Battle of Lutzen

Day 4 - Dresden and Kulm 1813

A hard-fought victory for Napoleon, Dresden ‘appeared’ to see of off substantial Coalition forces for the time being, enabling the Emperor to concentrate on threats elsewhere.

Kulm was an unexpected reverse for Napoleon following his success at Dresden, when General Vandamme’s French pursuit turned into a debacle, passing the advantage to the Coalition. From here on in, the fortunes of war began slowly to turn in favour the allies.

Often referred to as Florence on the Elbe, there will be free time to explore Dresden.

Included meals: Breakfast

Day 5 - Leipzig - the ‘Battle of the Nations’ 1813

Today we head to Leipizig. Comprising several cheek by jowl actions, overall Leipzig is believed to be the biggest battle ever fought until WW1.

You will study how Napoleon planned a defensive battle that a missed opportunity saw turn into an eventual Coalition victory.

After seeing the gigantic battlefield memorial, we will visit further actions associated with the Grande Armee’s subsequent withdrawal.

We continue east to the Hanau/Frankfurt area.

Included meals: Breakfast

Battle of the Nations, Leipzig

Battle of the Nations, Leipzig (2)

Key Visits

  • Battle of the Nations, Leipzig

Day 6 - The withdrawal of the Grande Armee - the Battle of Hanau

Considered by some to be the Emperor’s last ‘great’ victory, Hanau saw an ammunition-depleted Bavarian army attempt to block the French withdrawal to no real avail.

Following time at Hanau, we continue into France, and to Reims for three nights.

Included meals: Breakfast


Hanau (2)

Key Visits

  • Hanau

Day 7 - 1814 Campaign in France

Pouncing on the Prussian army at Brienne – coincidently the scene of Napoleon’s education – and though nearly captured by Cossacks, we see how the Emperor beat Marshal Blucher’s Coalition troops. Whilst in Brienne, there will be time to visit the Brienne Napoleon Museum (entrance fee extra).

Falling back on reinforcements, Blucher turned with overwhelming force at La Rothiere. However Napoleon skillfully disengaged to fight another day. Defeated at Arcis-sur-Aube, this was the Emperor’s last battle prior to his abdication at Fontainebleau and before the Waterloo Campaign the following year.

Included meals: Breakfast

Day 8 - Six Day Campaign

Today, we study the battles of the actions of the ‘Six Day Campaign’. We will also visit the Battle of Craonne, one of the most sanguine of the Campaign in France and very much a Russian victory.

The nearby Battle of Laon was also a Campaign Coalition victory. Here it is said that the French cavalry in abandoning the field discarded sufficient cuirasses to equip a whole Prussian regiment.

Included meals: Breakfast


laon (2)

Key Visits

  • laon

Day 9 - Waterloo Campaign Opens – 15th -17th June 1815

Today we head into Belgium where Napoleon’s concentration of the Armee d’Nord was a masterful accomplishment.

Our guide will tell you how the subsequent invasion proceeded, what went wrong, what Napoleon did en route, and about the betrayal and the delays.

At Charleroi you will stand where the Emperor dozed while reviewing his troops and where Marshal Ney ‘in haste’ received his initial orders.

At Gilly you will see where Napoleon spurred his men into action. At Fleurus you will stand by the windmill where he surveyed what was to be his last victory, the Battle of Ligny.

At Ligny you can visit the impressive General Gerard Museum (entrance fee extra). After seeing the scenes of fighting at Ligny, the axis of the route of Napoleon’s pursuit of Wellington’s army will be followed, including a tour of the inconclusive battle of Quatre Bras.

We stay for three nights in Waterloo.

Included meals: Breakfast

Day 10 - Battles of Wavre and Plancenoit 1815

Today we study how the Prussians re-grouped, following their defeat at Ligny and how, at Warve, they prevented Marshal Grouchy’s 30,000 men from re-joining the Emperor at Waterloo, as well as how they contributed to the Allied victory at Waterloo by persistence at Plancenoit.

Afterwards, you can visit Napoleon’s overnight GHQ at Le Caillou.

Included meals: Breakfast

Day 11 - The Waterloo Battlefield and Wellington’s Headquarters

The year 2015 saw the opening of the new, and now acclaimed, Hougoumont Visitors’ Centre, which includes access to the refurbished Panorama and the Lion Mound.

Following thoughtful renovation, – incorporating an audio-visual presentation – what happened there during the battle can also be visited.

From the French Wounded Eagle Memorial your guide will describe what happened at the battle's end.

The memorable tour ends with a visit to the Waterloo Museum where Wellington wrote his Waterloo Despatch.

Included meals: Breakfast

Day 12

Return home.

Included meals: Breakfast

Specialist Battlefield Guides

All of Leger’s battlefield tours are accompanied by specialist guides. Their individual in-depth knowledge of warfare will be informative, as well as enhance your overall experience, as they recreate a fascinating perception of the history and factual events of each battle. Discover the actual catalysts for war, the strategies employed and the final, inevitable outcomes, as well as experiencing the emotional human side of the front line.

Please note: On certain tours, you may get tour guides other that the ones listed below.

Previous Next


You will stay for one night at the NH Koningshof, near Eindhoven, followed by one night at the Best Western Hotel in Jena. You will then spend two nights at the Achat Premium Dresden and one night in the Frankfurt/Hanua area. You will also stay for three nights at the Ibis Reims Tinqueux and three nights at Ibis Waterloo.

Travel Options

All our coaches and transfer vehicles operate a 'no smoking on board policy'. The use of electronic cigarettes is strictly forbidden.
In the interest of fellow guests, do not take hot food or ice cream on board.
alcohol can only be taken on board our vehicles at the discretion of your driver.

When it comes to getting to the Battlefields, Leger Holidays make it easy, with a selection of travel options for you choose from.

Travel Extras

With an overnight stay, a Door-to-Door pick up or the option to meet us at the interchange, our travel extras allow you to create a travel experience to suit your needs...

Stay overnight near Dover

Why not go the night before your tour for a relaxing start?

You can park for FREE for up to seven days at the Holiday Inn Ashford North and enjoy an overnight stay with English breakfast from just £38 per person (Based on 2 sharing a twin/double room on a B&B basis, subject to availability. Single supplements and terms and conditions apply.) We’ll then collect you from the hotel on the day of departure and return you there at the end of your holiday.

To book this package, please call the hotel on 01233 713333, quoting ‘Leger Holidays’ and your booking reference. If your holiday is longer than seven days you can pay for additional days’ parking. Ask one of our friendly reservations team for more details when you book your holiday

Join coach at Interchange

Join your tour coach at the interchange.

On most tours if you’d prefer to join your tour coach at Stop 24 services, you can park your car in the car park which is accredited by the Park Mark safer parking scheme and is monitored 24 hours a day by CCTV. Payment for the parking is made on arrival using the self-service machines.

Excludes tours to Ireland and the U.K. and tours travelling via Brittany Ferries.

Door-to-Door service

On Battlefield tours of 7 days’ duration or more, you don’t even have to think about getting to your local joining point. If you live within 20 miles of one of our free joining points we’ll pick you up from your home and take you to meet your transfer vehicle, then return you back home at the end of your holiday. The cost is just £30 per booking each way for up to four people per booking.

If you live a little further afield, you can also take advantage of this convenient option for an additional charge – please enquire at the time of booking.

Book Now


Call our friendly advisors on: 01709 385 624