The timetable for this year’s Imber Bus route has been released, should you fancy taking a trip through the middle of an MoD firing range to an abandoned village during next month’s Bank Holiday Monday?

Although it runs just once a year, and relies on heritage Routemaster buses, the service to the empty village of Imber is an official bus route, registered as bus route 23A.

It’s also the only one allowed to drive through the middle of the MoD’s military training grounds of Salisbury Plains, so you can have the surreal sight of London buses, passing burnt-out tanks and warnings of unexploded debris in the grass verge.


Only inaugurated in 2009, this now annual tradition will see at least 7 heritage buses, and maybe the new double-decker as well running from the railway station in Warminster to a number of locations in Salisbury Plain — including of course, the abandoned village of Imber.

This year’s run will take place on Bank Holiday Monday, 25th August.

Buses start at 9:50, and run right through the day.

This year also includes a new terminus for some journeys high on the Plain at Stoke Hill. All buses will connect at an interchange point at Gore Cross to enable passengers to travel to/from all points along the route.

Tickets cost £2 per trip, or £8 for a day pass, with the proceeds to charity.

My review from last year is here.



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  1. LadyBracknell says:

    I definitely want to do this, but shall avoid the ‘Boris’ bus especially if it’s hot. It’s going to be surreal.

  2. Deanna Massengale says:

    Watch for the tank crossing signs that indicate the roads tanks will cross over. Not that any will be seen other than the burnt out ones, but one never knows right? I love that area knowibg that it is used to train heros who protect one and all. The fact that MoD allows civilians to visit once a year nakes it special. I wonder, does MoD use the village of Umber for training soldiers in small urban villages such as they might encounter in Afghanistan or other places they would be deployed? We have several bases here in the US that have created small urban areas for training. Also once or twice a year, the surrounding communities and civilians are invited to view a “live fire” demonstration which shows off the various vehicles and weapons our heros would use in combat.

  3. LadyBracknell says:

    I really thought I was going to do this – I have charged my camera battery and bought food for a packed lunch – but on the eve of the event it doesn’t seem likely. No real reason other than the potentially bad weather. I will see what tomorrow morning brings and then decide.

  4. Annabel says:

    We went, and had a lovely day, despite the weather.

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