Once a year, a fleet of old London buses are allowed into military lands to take trips to an empty village where no one lives. It is of course, therefore hugely popular.
This is the bus route through the middle of the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, to the abandoned village of Imber – the ImberBus.
You can look at it as a chance to ride on buses to an abandoned village, but that is almost to belittle the totality of the day out – riding through an empty landscape where trees have replaced tower blocks, where burnt-out tanks are more common than taxis, where a church in the middle of nowhere will serve you a cup of tea.
It’s a surreal experience.
After the time we’ve all had over the past couple of years, this will be the perfect tonic to shake off the cobwebs and get out into the countryside. There are only a few days each year on which the road to Imber is open to the public and so this year the Imberbus service will operate on: Saturday 20th August 2022.
As in previous years, these buses will operate as an ordinary bus service, so there will be no need for passengers to reserve seats or book tickets in advance — just head to Warminster, in Wiltshire, and pay the conductor on the bus or buy a ticket from one of their ticket sellers.
The buses will run from just outside Warminster railway station to Imber, and then all around Salisbury Plain, for the whole day, culminating at the end of the day if you’re still there, with a big line up parade.
A tip if travelling to Warminster by train from London, buying a return from London to Warminster is usually more expensive than buying two tickets — buy a return to Salisbury, and a return from Salisbury to Warminster. Yes, I know, weird, but you’ll save about £8 on the train fare by splitting tickets at Salisbury.