Would you imagine that in the city centre, behind Waterloo Avenue’s facades, there is a small public park hiding a sanctuary of serenity? At the foot of ‘The Hotel’, this green setting is in the interior of the block of buildings, wedged between Rue du Grand Cerf and Rue aux Laines. Out of sight and away from the traffic, majestic trees grow here in peace and quiet. The atmosphere and light in this place are almost reminiscent of a convent or monastery. We invite you to stroll through this landscaped English-style park, along the curved paths bordering beautiful grass areas and connecting a series of remarkable trees.
Transition : The walk begins at Passage de Milan, xx Boulevard de Waterloo. Look between the cobblestones and you might see young trees growing: locust trees, Turner’s oak... A seed or acorn left by a bird can sometimes take root here.
Transit >>>Untouched by time, this passage leads down to a huge mass of foliage at the end. Go through the archway to discover the Turner’s oak tree.
Transit >>> Leave the little paved car pack, and enter the park through the entrance on your left (facing the oak). Follow the path, and you’ll pass a plot of bushes. As soon as you can, turn right around the hairpin bend in the lawn. In front of you, near the gate to Egmont Palace, a walnut tree is waiting for you.
Transit >>>Walk alongside the Egmont Palace's gate and cross the lawn. In front of you, a gingko tree (aka ‘maidenhair tree’) is waiting for you. You’ll easily recognise it thanks to its fan-shaped leaves.
Transit >>> Face the gingko tree, with park gate on your right. The gingko tree’s neighbour to the left also has unusual leaves. This is an American tulip tree.
Transit >>> There are two other remarkable trees on the other side of the path. A northern red oak on the right and a sycamore maple on the left. Take a quick look at them. During autumn, the blazing red oak will undoubtedly attract your attention – even as you read this text 😉
Transit >>> Take the path and head towards the centre of the park. Go past the Peter Pan statue and continue straight. Walk along the lawn on the right. You’ll pass underneath the two common beech trees, a large plane tree with maple-style leaves and a remarkable chestnut tree. The path circles around the lawn. As it curves round to the left, all of a sudden you come face to face with the enormous trunk and huge roots of a common beech tree.
Transit >>> With the common beech tree on your left you’ll see a small path leading off to the right, which runs by a majestic Cedar of Lebanon with blueish-green foliage all year round. You can admire it from a distance by standing at the foot of the beech tree.
*Transit >>> Continue around on the main path. A little further along on your left, you will see a couple of common yew trees behind a bench. What you might not realise is that these trees are over 100 years old... *
Transit >>> If you are sat on the bench at the foot of yew trees, you may have already forgotten what you’re doing here. Don’t worry: if you continue along the path on your left, you’ll find yourself back at the starting point of your tree walk. On the way, you’ll follow a wall (on your right), then pass behind the Orangery cafe/restaurant (on your left) and then approach a large gate at the foot of the 40-storey building of ‘The Hotel’. There are two white mulberry trees there, one on either side of the entrance.
Transit >>> This walk finishes at the foot of these mulberry trees. Simply head out of the park to Boulevard de Waterloo, if you wish. Alternatively, to avoid leaving the peace and quiet of Parc Egmont too abruptly, continue straight ahead along the path and you’ll reach Passage de Milan again. Feeling more serene than when you started this walk, you’ll probably have a new appreciation your surroundings.