If you fancy spending an exceptionally surreal day taking trips through a military firing range in some old buses, then get ready to reserve a date in August.

ImberBus is a standard London bus route that happens to run on just one day a year and through the middle of the normally sealed-off Salisbury Plain, past burnt-out tanks and military bases to an abandoned medieval church in the middle of a military training village.

Which is pretty interesting when you think about it.

The buses also ride all over the place, through deep valleys and up steep hills in a landscape that is untouched by modern farmers and only occasionally smashed by the military testing their new artillery shells.

But mostly, it’s the fleet of old buses rumbling along rough roads to places that have strange names and a bus stop, and often very little else. Tea and coffee are served in the old church, and the pubs and small cafes around the edges of the military lands will open up for the buses that ply the wider area.

Imberbus 2022 will be held on Saturday 20th August when up to 25 old and new Routemaster buses (plus a few guest vehicles) will operate from Warminster to Imber and other points on Salisbury Plain.

Note, only the buses are allowed in – no one else is allowed in on this special open day.

The buses will leave the nearby town of Warminster roughly every 15 minutes throughout the day from next to the railway station to Imber, then splitting off to the four corners of the firing range. If you want to plan an itinerary or have a specific place you want to visit, the full timetable has been published now on the ImberBus website.

There’s a standard all-day rover fare of £10, pay cash when you get on the bus or at Warminster Station. In addition, up to 3 children will be allowed to accompany each adult for the bargain all-day fare of just £1 each.

If you’ve never been to ImberBus, it’s one of the most delightful days out you will ever have.

Getting to Warminster for ImberBus

A standard return train ticket from London Waterloo to Warminster will cost (at time of writing) £38.80 for specified trains, or £51.50 for an anytime train. However, as you’ll need to change trains at Salisbury, it’s cheaper to buy two tickets — a return to Salisbury, and a return from Salisbury to Warminster.

  • Waterloo to Salisbury return £18.40 for specified trains (£35.60 anytime trains)
  • Salisbury to Warminster return is £8.60

So the fares will be:

London to Warminster Split tickets
Fixed train times £38.80 £27.00
Anytime trains £51.50 £44.20

However, add on a Network Railcard which saves a third off the fare on the London to Salisbury leg, and it’s even cheaper.

London to Warminster Split tickets
Fixed train times £29.90 £27.00
Anytime trains £46.00 £34.30

So a standard flexible return ticket that could have cost £51.10 can be had for £34.30 instead. You’re still catching the same trains at the same times, you just have two tickets instead of one.

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Article last updated: 1 August 2022 09:39

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2 comments
  1. Paul Hamilton says:

    do you think the LT set will do a run this year?

  2. Bob says:

    I was one of the crew last year on a bus, and its a lot of fun, well worth going to this event

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