All aboard the big green bus: Glamping in East Sussex
As I mentioned in last weeks post Gone Glamping I turned 30 on Thursday! It was a four-day celebration including a meal out with friends and family and a pub lunch the following day. The main event was a stay on The Big Green Bus with Matt and our lovely friends Sam and Graham.
The bus is parked in an idyllic location in private woodland in East Sussex, complete with decking, bench and a fire pit plus a wood fired hot tub. We had planned to light it on my birthday evening and toast marshmallows but unfortunately it rained! (Nevermind, after all this is the British weather in August…it can’t always be sunny!) Reached via its own gated footpath it is very private. Surrounded by peaceful countryside with lots of walks, a pub within strolling distance and Brighton a 20 minute train journey from the nearby town of Lewes, it was all we needed. Gilly and Jed who own the glamping site have some lovely dogs, Mollie, Poppy and Katie. All three popped by the bus to say hi every now and then. The bus is currently relocating, check back for an update on its new location soon.
A lovely welcome of prosecco and chocolate brownies awaited us. Matt and I instantly felt at home in this unique and quirky space, it had such a fantastic light and airy feel to it. I excitedly skipped around the bus exploring every nook and cranny and fell in love with it!
The bus started its life in 1982 (which makes it older than me!) and is now owned by Adam who has lovingly restored and turned it into the most amazing glamping retreat. You can follow the build from start to finish on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. I found out about the bus from this Channel 4 TV series last year and loved the quirkiness of it. I also stayed in the beach hut featured on Amazing Spaces in April for Matt’s birthday. Read about it here: Beach Hut Living. Adam has done an amazing job and kept a lot of the original fixtures and fittings, from the drivers cab, the old seat cushions re-upholstered in a lovely bright green, railings, a stop button, and lots of the original signs. It was strange to think while having a shower or laying in bed about all the people this bus must have transported over its many years in service!
So let me give you a guided tour…The galley kitchen had everything we needed including an oven, fridge, sink and plenty of storage cupboards full of utensils, pots and pans. The area at the front of the bus that would have been used to store luggage has been turned into a cupboard/pantry which was full of not only all the kitchen utensils and crockery you could ever need but also all the essentials like tea, coffee, sugar, oil, pasta and much more.
The lounge area came complete with a log burner, due to the unpredictability of the British weather as I have already mentioned, it rained on and off and was slightly chilly in the morning, so lighting it up first thing just took the edge off until the sun decided to show up. The back seat gave a whole new meaning to sitting at the back of the bus and the window seat above was very comfy. Adam has used some ingenious space-saving ideas such as a wooden cover on the back window, which also doubled up as the table with the legs stored behind the seats. This gave extra room to relax in between meals and also being able to put the ‘table’ over the back window at night made it more private. Behind the stairs sits a very neat wet-room and toilet with ample space to have a good shower.
My favourite area was upstairs at the front of the bus, this ironically was my favourite place to sit when I used to catch the bus to school. Adam has kept two of the original seats and turned this part of the bus into a very comfy corner to relax in. It was the perfect place to sit with a morning cuppa or evening drinks and gaze out across the field and surrounding woodland. I also loved the little touches such as the union jack cushions, collection of books, and the set of draws with all sorts of board games in. Following the corridor round led to two bedrooms big enough to fit double beds in and at the end some very spacious looking bunk beds. I had two cosy nights sleep in the very comfy beds. There was plenty of room for the four of us to leave our bags upstairs on the bus too. I should also mention that the bus has electric and hot water.
I woke up on the morning of my birthday to blueberry pancakes and Sam gave me thirty presents to open! We then drove to Lewes and caught the train to Brighton, had lunch at Plateau and walked on the pier. After a few hours we made our way back to the bus where there were more surprises for me! Cupcakes and champagne followed by an amazing dinner, I have wonderful friends as well as a wonderful husband! After dinner we got the log burner going and played some board games.
We had a fantastic stay in a lovely peaceful location, everything about the bus was perfect, it was immaculately presented and had a lot of thought involved from the décor to the comfort of guests. It was such a brilliant way to celebrate… turning 30 hasn’t been so bad after all, I think this has quite possibly been my best birthday yet!
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