Phoebus Glamping ~ Family Adventure on an American School Bus in Berkshire
Where: Inkpen, Berkshire
Sleeps: Up to 6
How much: From £140 per night (for 2 people)
Phoebus Glamping has been created through a profound love of the outdoors and being close to nature. Owners Chris and Róża felt the need to counter balance their fast paced lives in London with the ultimate, off-grid escape, purchasing their American Skoolie from my chum Jim at Shred & Butta last summer. With a strong desire to truly escape daily stresses during their time spent at Phoebus they chose a remote spot in rural Berkshire as the perfect location to rebuild their bus.
A few months of hard graft down the line and Phoebus Glamping is ready to launch! Chris and Róża have created a stunning home on wheels that has everything you need to live in relative luxury (shower, heating, loo, oven – even cinema!) whilst running entirely off it’s own energy supply. The name Phoebus even comes from the Greek God of light, perfectly epitomising the use of solar power harvested through the rooftop solar panels. As a result this unique dwelling is able to offer a blend of off-grid with modern comforts – including steaming hot water, USB sockets, heating system and enough electricity to run any number of daily chores including cooking on an oven and hob.
Phoebus Glamping is located in a rural area of Berkshire, close to the North Wessex Downs AONB. The surrounding countryside is stunning with plenty of rolling countryside to explore.
Inside the bus
American school buses come in a variety of sizes, but the Phoebus is one of the largest I’ve come across. Despite feeling very much like a bus (the driver’s cabin seals that deal) once you’re in for the night the interior reminded me of being on a narrowboat – long, cosy and a bit wobbly! Chris and Róża have been so clever working the interior to not only look chic and smart, but also in being a really simple and practical space.
The main seating area can be adapted to accommodate a dining table or as a double bed. The living space also incorporates a projector system that can be connected to your personal laptop allowing you to watch films on a screen all snuggled up together. We loved this added luxury!
Moving to the kitchen the bus provides fully functioning cooking facilities with electric hobs, oven, decent sized fridge and sink area. There’s also a BBQ so we were able to still enjoy cooking our meats over a smoked fire while prepping our sides and nibbles in the main kitchen area.
Beyond the main living space there are two bunks tucked behind a set of curtains. The bunks are snug and cosy made all that bit extra by LED lights and hand knitted bedside pockets – perfect for our pair of rug rats.
Opposite the bunks is a small, flushing toilet in it’s own private space – nicely decorated and with plenty of light. Next door is a stylish wet room with a toasty warm shower (the best shower we’ve come across on our glamping expeditions!)
Finally, at the rear of the bus is a huge Super King bed which was so comfy I really didn’t want to get up. Again, everything has been thought about here in terms of storage and utilities with plenty of sockets and lighting.
Owner Chris is an experienced outdoor pursuits instructor and is more than happy to offer his services to guests staying at Phoebus. We spent a couple of memorable hours on the morning of our departure with Chris teaching us all how to shoot air rifles and sharing his fire starting techniques. It’s rare to find activities that genuinely engage us all as a family – but these sessions really did! Daisy was a natural at shooting so was given an additional challenge of hitting a target packed with gunpowder! I think we’ll all remember the boom that came from that for good while! Great fun for all ages and a fantastic addition to the skoolie package.
You can find full details of activities including campfire cooking, axe throwing and weaving here.
So much love and thought has gone into the restoration of this bus. The high standard the living space offers in terms of functionality and comfort ensures that all your needs are met despite living in the middle of the sticks. A stay on the Phoebus really does let you get away from it all letting guests immerse themselves in the surrounding woodlands and nature without the stresses that camping can entail. Chris is an attentive host, keen to share his passion for the outdoors allowing guests to get the most out of their time at Phoebus whether that might be through outdoor cooking or a simple treasure hunt. We were all reluctant to leave this special place. A unique getaway guaranteed to reset, unwind and inspire.
If you’d like to find out more about staying on Phoebus please visit their website here. With thanks to Chris and Róża for inviting us to stay on Phoebus in exchange for this review.