If you are planning on travelling by Imberbus, we hope that the following additional information will help you enjoy your day:
When is the next date that Imberbus be running ?
As the primary purpose of the Imber Ranges is military training, there are only a few days each year on which the road through Imber is open to the public and information on these is not released by the MoD until the spring. We are only able to operate the Imberbus service once a year and as soon as we have been given the date, it will be published on the front page of this website. You can also keep up to date with future Imberbus events by adding your name to our mailing list – just insert your email address into the box on the right hand side of this page, or click the “+follow” button at the bottom right hand side of your screen.
How do I get to Warminster and where can I park ?
Advice on how to get to Warminster by bus, train and car (including the location of car parks) can be found on our “How to get to Warminster” page by clicking here. As car parking can be in short supply at times, we strongly recommend that you consider travelling to Warminster by public transport if at all possible.
A small amount of roadside parking is also available in West Lavington, but please ensure that you leave plenty of space for the Imberbuses to get past. This year we strongly recommend that you do NOT park at Chitterne as there is a wedding there during the afternoon and so our buses will not be calling there after 3pm. Please also note that the Imber Park & Ride site which we uses a few years ago will not be in operation this year and there is no parking available at Gore Cross Interchange either, as both sites are part of the Salisbury Plain Military Training Area.
What time will the buses run ?
When imberbus is running, buses normally depart from Warminster to Imber approximately every 15 minutes between 9.45am and 5pm, with at least two vehicles allocated to most departures to ensure that no-one is left behind. On arrival at Imber, many of the buses then continue on to other points on Salisbury Plain, connecting en-route at Gore Cross to enable passengers to change buses.
The exact timetable for our service changes slightly each year and is published on this website approximately one month before the event takes place.
How much does it cost to travel on the Imberbuses and do I need to book a seat ?
To enable you to explore the Imberbus services in an affordable way, we offer an all day ticket at a cost of £10 per adult, with up to 3 children being allowed to accompany each adult for the bargain fare of just £1 each. However, ordinary bus fares are also available and so if you just wish to travel from Warminster to visit the 16th century St Giles’ Church at Imber, you can purchase an ordinary ticket on the bus for just £5 which will take you there and back.
Please note that because Imberbus operates as an ordinary bus service, there is no facility to pre-book a seat – just turn up and pay the conductor on the bus. We regret, however, that Concessionary bus passes cannot be used to travel free of charge on the Imberbus service.
Can I pay using a Credit/Debit Card?
Whilst you can only pay the bus conductors in cash on the bus, we hope to have a desk outside Warminster in the morning where you can purchase tickets using a credit/debit card. Cash machines are also available in Warminster Market Place which is 5 minutes walk away from the rail station.
Where can I go when I get to Imber ?
The main attraction at Imber is the 16th century St Giles’ Church which is run by The Friends of St Giles, all of whom are volunteers. This is the only building in the village that is open to the public and is well worth visiting. As our buses run frequently through Imber, most of our passengers spend about 30 minutes to an hour at Imber, then board another Imberbus to view other parts of Salisbury Plain.
It should be noted that during our event, public access in the military area will be strictly limited to the following:
- The “main road” through Imber village, within the boundary of the village;
- Imber Church and the path and field between it and the main road;
- Gore Cross bus Interchange (for the purposes of changing buses);
- The Imber Range Perimeter Path which is a public footpath which passes close to Gore Cross and by New Zealand Farm Camp (open all year round).
Please note that all other roads, paths, buildings and fields are strictly off-limits, no matter interesting and inviting they may look! this particularly applies to the burnt out tanks and the “houses” at Imber, most of which were constructed by the military for training purposes and are not original.
Where will I be able to get something to eat or drink ?
Light refreshments will be available inside Imber Church and at the Village Halls in Chitterne and Tilshead. Caspers Cafe on platform 1 at Warminster Station and some of the cafes in the town centre will also be open and cream tea will be served at the Old School in Market Lavington between midday and 5pm. You might also want to sample one of the country pubs along the route – our route to Chitterne stops right outside the Churchill Arms at West Lavington and our buses pass near to other hostelries at Market Lavington and Chitterne which are expected to be open for all or part of the day.
What other facilities are available at Imber
The short answer is almost nothing! As Imber is normally closed to the public there are no shops, no permanent toilets, no electricity and no mobile phone or internet signal. We therefore strongly recommend that you prepare for this before you board the bus (the nearest public toilets will be at Warminster Station and alongside Warminster Central Car Park).
Where can I go after visiting Imber ?
On leaving Imber, our buses carry on to Gore Cross (on the Salisbury-Devizes road) where they continue either to New Zealand Farm Camp; Brazen Bottom and the Lavingtons, or through Tilshead to the small village of Chitterne. All the buses are designed to meet up at our Gore Cross Interchange to allow passengers to swap between them (and to take a few photographs), so it is easy to visit several villages in one day.
Can I get on or off at other places ?
Only on the ordinary public roads. On the military roads the Imberbuses will now only stop at Imber village, Gore Cross Interchange and New Zealand Farm Camp. On the public roads the buses will stop at points shown in the timetable and at any normal bus stop in between – just signal clearly to the driver as the bus approaches or if you are on the bus, tell the conductor in plenty of time where you want to get off. However if you are planning to leave a bus at a remote location, please check the timetable carefully for details of the last bus, as we would hate to leave anyone stranded. Please also remember that in the military area, all areas other than the road are out of bounds, however interesting and inviting they may look!
Are any of the buses wheelchair accessible ?
Although most of the Imberbuses are vintage ones with steps, there will be a few newer ones with wheelchair spaces operating between Warminster and Imber as well. However be aware that the conditions at Imber are not ideal for wheelchairs and the path up to the church is quite steep in places. If you wish to travel with a wheelchair on the Imberbus service, please contact us during the summer so that we can tell you times that the wheelchair accessible buses will operate.
Can I take a Dog or a Pushchair on the buses ?
Well behaved dogs are allowed to travel on the Imberbuses at the discretion of the conductor, provided that they remain on the floor and keep off the seats.
We regret, however that as most journeys of our journeys are operated by vintage buses, it will normally only be possible to carry a pushchair if it can be folded up and stowed safely under the stairs.
What covid measures will be in place at Imberbus in 2022?
Our event attracts a lot of people, so social distancing will will not be possible on our buses. If travelling in a crowd worries you, please delay your visit until after lunch as the buses from Warminster tend to be less busy in the afternoon.
We have to work our buses hard at Imberbus, so it is not be possible for us to wipe down all the hard surfaces on the buses in between trips. If this concerns you, we strongly advise you to bring your own supply of hand sanitiser as there are no hand washing facilities available at Imber.
Finally, please have consideration for our staff and other passengers and do not attend if you are showing any of the symptoms of Coronavirus or have been told to isolate. We have every intention of running Imberbus in future years, so please do not feel the need to come this year if you feel unwell or have been “pinged”!
Can I drive or cycle up to Imber myself?
There are a small number of days when the military roads to Imber are open to all traffic and these are publicised on the Imber Church website. However in 2022, Imberbus day will be a car free day around Imber and no vehicles of any sort will be allowed to use the military roads in that date, except for the buses operating the Imberbus service.
What charities does Imberbus support?
In 2021, Imberbus donated more than £13,000 to the Friends of St.Giles’s Church, Imber, and the Royal British Legion Poppy Day Appeal and to other charities related to those who help Imberbus. This year, our operating surplus will again be donated to those charities.
Do you need any volunteer bus crews?
Most of the buses that operate our services are owned by bus companies from around the country and they usually come with their own crews. We therefore do not have any vacancies for bus drivers, but we do occasionally need help with support duties on the day, such as reversing buses and answering questions from members of the public. If you believe that you could help with this, please fill in the form below and let us know what experience you have that could be of use to us.
How can I find out about future events? ?
The easiest way of keeping up to date with future Imberbus events by adding your name to our mailing list – just insert your email address into the “Keep up to date with Imberbus” box on the bottom or right hand side of this page, or click the “+follow” button at the bottom right hand side of your screen.
Need more information about Imberbus? Then please fill in the enquiry form below and we will do our best to help.