Family converts nine old buses into quirky holiday guest houses

The bus stopover! Family converts nine old buses into quirky holiday guest houses on their farm in the British countryside

  • Sandy Stewart, his fiancee, father and father’s partner penned unique concept  
  • The legion of old buses in Gifford, East Lothian, are purchased from scrapyards 
  • They are then stripped of their engines and seats and given a makeover inside
  • Buses are kitted out with king-sized beds, wood-burning stoves and hot tubs

A family has converted nine old buses into quirky holiday guest houses on their farm in the British countryside.

Fittingly named The Bus Stop, the legion of old buses are situated in Gifford, East Lothian, and guests can either spend the night in a ‘rustic bus’ or ‘luxurious bus’.

The concept was penned by Sandy Stewart, 33, along with his fiancée Sioned Lloyd-Davies, his father Balfour Steward, and his father’s partner Elaine Lamont.

A bus themed play park, pictured, in Gifford, East Lothian, which has been added by the family as new feature to the site after it had to close for lockdown

A bedroom area on one of the buses. Most of the buses are purchased from scrapyards in Scotland and across the UK, after being decommissioned from service

Inside the bus play park. Fittingly named The Bus Stop, the legion of old buses are situated in the countryside and guests can either spend the night in a ‘rustic bus’ or ‘luxurious bus’

The buses are kitted out with king-sized beds, wood-burning stoves and even outdoor hot tubs – but they still have all the nostalgic characteristics of a bus.

Sandy said: ‘The whole thing started back in 2013 – I used to be in the army and my dad and I were figuring out a way to do something different at the working family farm.

‘We fell upon the idea of holiday homes and thought there was a lovely spot on the farm where we could build some, looking at the options of wigwams or yurts.

‘We rent out one of our big grain sheds to a bus club, a group of bus enthusiasts who buy old buses to renovate back to their original state to present at shows.

‘These buses have been on the farm for a number of years and I found myself staring at them and thinking we could probably do something with that.’

He added: ‘We wanted to do the work all by ourselves, with the help of my brother-in-law who’s a joiner, so we slowly started with one at a time with our first one finished in 2016.

Each bus has an outdoor wood-fired hot tub, above, looking out over the countryside. After reopening this week the buses, which cost from £180, are all booked out until October

A double decker bus that has been converted, with a hot tub outside. Sandy Stewart, 33, said: ‘Once you’re inside, apart from all the windows, you quickly forget you’re in a bus’ 

A kitchen area on one of the buses. After being purchased from the scrapyard, the buses are stripped of their engines, seats and given a makeover inside, each with their own unique decor

A seating area and table on one of the luxury buses. The interior makeover takes from three months to a year to complete

‘We’ve now got nine buses – three luxury ones and six rustic ones. The rustic buses are more of a camping experience. They don’t have any power but we provide a big fire.

‘The luxury ones are finished to a high standard and we’ve done everything themselves – it’s been very much a family farm-based project.

‘Once you’re inside, apart from all the windows, you quickly forget you’re in a bus – it’s like a nice little hotel room.’

Most of the buses are purchased from scrapyards in Scotland and across the UK, as far as Newcastle, after being decommissioned from service.

Sandy, left, with his father Balfour Stewart and Balfour’s partner Elaine Lamont, who run The Bus Stop and were part of creating the concept

One of the double bedrooms on a bus. The site was created as a unique experience for holidaymakers who wanted to get outdoors without the hassle of setting up a tent

The drivers’ seats have been kept in all of the buses. Sandy said: ‘We don’t want it to feel like you’re going to a hotel because it’s all a unique experience’


A more rustic wooden kitchen in one of the buses, left, and an outside view of one of the ‘rustic’ buses, right, which doesn’t have any power but a big fire is provided

They are then stripped of their engines and seats and given a makeover inside, each with their own unique decor, and take from three months to a year to complete.

Since the site had to close for lockdown, the family have been busy adding new features, including a kids’ play park inside an old bus and composted toilets.

After reopening this week the buses, which cost from £180, are all booked out until October.

Sandy said: ‘We’re a very family-orientated place and a lot of our guests like to get involved with the farming life – children especially love all the buses and animals.

‘People are always pleasantly surprised by the comfort of the buses and all the peace and quiet that we offer.

‘We don’t want it to feel like you’re going to a hotel because it’s all a unique experience.’

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