He gave his name to the capital of New Zealand, a beef-filled pastry, a rubbery boot and a Womble. The Duke of Wellington also found time to serve as Prime Minister (twice) and defeat the army of Napoleon at Waterloo. The 200th anniversary of that battle will arrive on 18 June and, in the run-up, you can take a tour of the London sites associated with the Iron Duke.
The trail follows a route through central London from Trafalgar Square to the Duke’s former home of Apsley House at Hyde Park Corner. The walks will run every Saturday morning at 11am between now and the anniversary, and are put together by Westminster’s official tour guide association. Tickets are £11.25, with £3 going to the Waterloo 200 charity. Get a taster by clicking through the gallery above.
In addition, Footprints of London guide Rob Smith will lead a tour of London memorials to the Battle of Waterloo on the anniversary itself (£10/£7.50).
On a more bombastic note, the Royal Albert Hall is taking bookings for a Waterloo 200 anniversary concert on 5 June. Hosted by Tony Robinson, the concert includes such revolutionary jingles as Schubert’s March Militaire, Beethoven’s Fifth, as well as the same composer’s piece called Wellington’s Victory (actually written in 1813 to commemorate an earlier triumph), which will include a blast of musket fire. Tickets start at around £20.
Get your boots on.