A converted, characterful and cool all-American yellow school bus parked up at Beachy Head
Most of us like to take a souvenir home from our holidays and the Wimpory family from Sussex are no exception. The only thing is they don’t like to do things by halves, so a holiday to them was travelling 14,000 miles through 20 states in a classic American school bus for a year. And that souvenir, well — you’ve probably guessed it. It was a big, yellow, dog-nosed bus that’s now parked up at Beachy Head, Eastbourne.
The Skoolie Stays bus is, in actual fact, not the same bus that carried the Wimporys on their travels. Getting a bus back to Blighty is a bit more complicated than stuffing it in your suitcase, but a year after their return they’ve managed quite a feat. They harnessed the energy and enthusiasm of their epic holiday so you can have your own; they managed to buy, ship, and transform a former Florida school bus into a cosy and cool place to stay.
The bus is kitted out for a family of four with a king-sized bed and two bunks. There’s a log burner for chilly nights onboard and comfy seating, too, as well as a kitchenette and bathroom. It’s self-contained and stylish with plenty of playful touches from the penny-studded epoxy-resin counter to the self-built folding bunks and original American reg plate on the wall. Perhaps the best thing is it’s still a working bus and while guests can’t drive off in it, the buttons, dials, and levers are fascinating to see. Outside, fold-out stop signs are another reminder of its past but now there’s a deck as well on its view-facing side.
Parked up on Beachy Head Road, the Skoolie Stays bus is a short distance from the incredible (but sheer!) white cliffs of the road's namesake, offering expansive views across the English Channel and the famous lighthouse. Located just outside the resort town of Eastbourne, you'll also be able to take a stroll along its 19th-century pier and enjoy some fish and chips on its beach: a very English day out from an all-American base near the seaside.
Eastbourne, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Ruth W.Joined in June 2021
3 Ratings · 3 reviews
February 8, 2022
Skoolie Stays American school bus
For my 50th I had a desire to pitch a tent next to a river…,but… it is January…. So I found the Skoolie Bus instead! It was a wonderful experience and our kids loved it too. We have travelled a lot ourselves and we’re very interested in Ruth and Guy’s adventures. The bus is very comfortable and with the log fire going we were never cold. The South Downs is also a beautiful area to explore.
February 4, 2022
Skoolie Stays American school bus
I couldn’t fault anything about our Skoolie stay! We were well looked after during the booking process, the bus was easy to find as directions were clear, everything on the bus was easy to use with the detailed user guide to hand, the bus itself was truly amazing and so much fun! The location was perfect for a bit of local sightseeing, good food and tranquility! I loved it so much that it has inspired me to buy and convert my own Skoolie bus one day so I can take it out on the road! Definitely recommend to anyone and everyone from couples like us to a family with kids. Its a great idea for a little getaway and experience doing something different and Ruth is an amazing host and went above and beyond to accommodate us! Thank you!
October 23, 2021
Skoolie Stays American school bus
My husband, daughter and I spent 2 nights in Skoolie during October, and it was perfect from start to finish. The bus has been designed in an incredibly clever way which makes it feel cozy and homely, while still creating enough space for each individual. Beds are gloriously comfy, shower and toilet make perfect use of the space available and are user friendly without fault. Kitchen is practical and once again showcases careful thinking and planning so that it’s small enough not to be in the way yet also accessible and useable. There was absolutely nothing lacking in this bus for our short break. The wood burner was super toasty and heats the whole bus in no time. We used the drop down balcony at the back of the bus constantly, lovely place for a brew and to read, again it’s a brilliant size to relax in comfort. Cannot fault the communication from the owners, professional yet also personal. Easy to contact, and gave clear and informative instructions.
A really exceptional and special place for a break, we feel really privileged to have been able to stay here. Thank you.
From the host
Skoolie Stays is an icon of the American road, lovingly converted into luxurious accommodation in Sussex. It offers up to 4 guests a chance to stay in fantastically unusual accommodation in a beautiful part of Sussex and the South Downs National Park.
The bus was inspired by our 14,000 mile, year-long family road trip across America in a similar Skoolie. We fell in love with bus life and, when it came time to return to the UK, the whole family agreed - we had to ship one back to the UK.
The Skoolie Stays bus is a product of the knowledge and skills we developed over our year away, full of clever ideas and hand-built, design-led decor. Every element has been thought out in detail to maximise space, comfort, freedom, and fun. You will find lots of original features, repurposed and reimagined furniture, and top-of-the-range fixtures and fittings that help to make off-grid living comfortable, practical, and environmentally friendly.
Skoolie Stays comfortably sleeps up to 4 people in a king-size bed (2 guests) and 6ft murphy-style bunks (2 guests) that fold away when not in use. The kitchen provides plenty of space to cook and the American-style diner area, complete with the original bus seats and incorporates an old teak table from a local secondary school, is the perfect place for a meal. Oak herringbone floors, leather sofa, and a clean-burning log stove make the lounge area feel cosy and luxurious and the fully-tiled bathroom offers lovely hot showers. When the sun goes down, step out onto the deck to watch the stars or warm up at the outdoor firepit.
The Skoolie is based at Beachy Head, near Eastbourne. It has great access to the South Downs Way, the coast, and villages such as East Dean, Firle, Alfriston, Alciston, where you can find lovely pubs, tea-rooms, shops and restaurants. There is also the opportunity to visit the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne, Cuckmere Haven and Seven Sisters National Park.
Hikers and cyclists will appreciate the site's close proximity to various famed routes in the South Downs National Park. Skoolie is close to both the long-distance Vanguard Way and the South Downs Way, while the Seven Sisters Country Park is also within reach. Art buffs will appreciate the Towner Art Gallery (01323 434670), less than a 10-minute drive from the bus and Sussex's largest purpose-built art gallery with a packed calendar of exhibitions and stunning collections. For more of the local culture, a 30-minute drive will get you to Charleston (01323 811626), the home and studio of painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, which hosts a year-round line-up of contemporary exhibitions. If you're in the mood for adventure check out Fly Sussex (01273 858170), a paragliding company that offers lessons at their training site. Or, for something much more chilled out, guests can also pop into the resort town of Eastbourne, where they can chill out across the three miles of shingle and sandy beaches, and even the occasional rock pool.
Food and drink
The Beachy Head (01323 728060) is a mile away from Skoolie, the closest pub and with a country-style aesthetic near the cliffs. Expect superb views of the South Downs from here, all the way across to the lighthouse. The Tiger Inn (01323 423209) can be reached in around a five-minute drive, a hearty English pub with an open fire. The Pilot Inn (01323 723440) can also be accessed in a five-minute drive, an award-winning and stylish pub serving modern British food.