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Skoolie Stays

· Pulborough, West Sussex, England
10 acres hosted by Ruth W.
1 glamping pitch
A converted, characterful and cool all-American yellow school bus parked up near the South Downs

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 in a private meadow in Thakeham, West Sussex.

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 in a secluded spot on a private farm, surrounded by lush green fields and ancient woodland, the Skoolie Stays bus is a short distance from the beautiful South Downs National Park where hiking and biking offers expansive views of the coast, or you could discover West Sussex's castles, stately homes, heritage sites, vineyards, breweries and picture perfect villages. Or just take a stroll down Strawberry Lane to Thakeham Village, where a 16th Century pub awaits. A very English activity from your all American base.

Sleep in a beautifully-converted, off-grid American school bus with views of the sea.  Perched in a fantastic private rural spot atop the majestic hills of the South Downs, less than a mile from Beachy Head and the start of the South Downs Way, Skoolie Stays is the perfect spot to relax and reconnect with nature.   With easy access to cultural Eastbourne, stunning Seven Sisters Country Park and the gorgeously cosy and historic pubs of nearby local villages, our spot in the South Downs National Park is the perfect balance of quirky escapism, off-grid living and classic Sussex experience. 
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5 Ratings · 4 reviews
Paul J.recommends
October 25, 2023
Sussex Farm American School Bus
Great two night stay. The bus is lovely and the setting is peaceful and off grid. Good communication for the stay.
Claire N.recommends
February 8, 2022
Sussex Farm 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.
Ruby S.recommends
February 4, 2022
Sussex Farm 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!
Emma P.recommends
October 23, 2021
Sussex Farm 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.
Pulborough, West Sussex, 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
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 close to 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 close to Thakeham Village in West Sussex. It has great access to the South Downs Way, the coast, and villages such as Amberley and Storrington, where you can find lovely pubs, tea-rooms, shops and restaurants. There is also the opportunity to visit Arundel Castle.
Nearby attractions

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.

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