Imber village

Submitted by Timwoods on 08 January 2010
OS Explorer Map: 143 - Warminster & Trowbridge
 
(3 votes)
A linear, half-day countryside walk in England starting at Edington, Wiltshire, about 17km (roughly 11 miles) long and unsuitable for families with children, prams/pushchairs, wheelchairs. This walk is something a bit special. Exploring the deserted village of Imber on Salisbury Plain is a treat itself, but as it is in MOD land, it is only open a few days each year - so enjoy it while you can! There are many ways to reach the village, but a good choice is from the village of Edington on the north side of the Plain. As the land is undisturbed for most of the year, it's a great place to spot wildlife in the chalk downs landscape. Start: Edington, OS Grid: ST933534
End: Bratton, OS Grid: ST914521
Elevation Profile (x: waypoint number, y: metres)
Gain (+/- 10%): 313m (1029ft)
Total (+/- 10%): 624m (2047ft)
Loss (+/- 10%): 310m (1018ft)
Max. Elevation: 210m (688ft)

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143 - Warminster & Trowbridge
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Waypoints
OS Grid: ST933534
Before taking the bus to the village of Edington, check that access to the village is permitted! The village is usually open over Christmas, Easter and some days in August. A good place to check the exact dates is www.foreverimber.org.uk
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 1 OS Grid: ST932528
Opposite The Lamb pub (currently closed, sadly), a footpath will take you straight up on to the Plain. This route up gives you a great view over Long Hollow when you near the top.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 2 OS Grid: ST932522
Shortly after gaining the ridge, join the Imber Range Path heading south. Already you should start to spot several of the farmland bird species that thrive here - I have spotted skylarks, lapwings and many others here.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 3 OS Grid: ST928508
At this point, where the path meets a road, you normally have to turn left or right. But if you have got your dates right, the sign will state that the Imber Road is open. Keep heading south towards the village.
About 3 km (roughly 2 miles) from 4 OS Grid: ST938485
The navigation is easy as you follow the road to Imber. Look out for the tanks on the skyline!
About 3 km (roughly 2 miles) from 5 OS Grid: ST963486
It's a strange place, Imber. Requisitioned during WWII for American troops to practice street fighting, the villagers were all evicted. The first building you pass is the old village pub, then the Manor House where the villagers used to work.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 6 OS Grid: ST967483
Take time to visit the old village church - still used at times - and get a feel of this curious place. For more information on the fascinating history, visit www.foreverimber.org.uk. The website also has links to books with more details of the village's past.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 7 OS Grid: ST953484
There are numerous ways out of Imber. The road heading south takes you to Heytesbury, and heading west will take you to Warminster (which has a train station). But if you want to return to the northern side, retrace your steps.
About 4 km (roughly 3 miles) from 8 OS Grid: ST929518
Once you leave the MOD land, you reach Reeves Farm. For a different way back, take the Imber Road into Bratton, rather than the path back to Edington....
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 9 OS Grid: ST916522
...because, as you may remember, the pub in Edington is now closed. So instead aim for Bratton, where you can enjoy a pint in The Duke while you wait for the bus home.
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