Hindford, Shropshire,SY1 4NR
Campsite owners who go camping, ski instructors who go skiing, dog walkers who go walking, we’ve all heard of a busman’s holiday, but Campio Glamp – a brand new site just north of Oswestry in rural Shropshire – surely takes the biscuit. This two-acre meadow, backing onto the Llangollen Canal, takes the phrase to a literal extreme and now offers a permanent stop to the Number 34 bus, which has been spruced up, kitted-out and furnished for the modern day glamper. It’s a busman’s holiday for more than just bus drivers. Why not hop on board?
Set in the grounds of a working dairy farm and one of the first organic farms in Shropshire, the maroon and custard coloured bus, bought from a local company in 2015, juxtaposes its natural surroundings. Behind, great ash and oak trees tower above the hedgerows, home to a resident woodpecker and shuffling rabbits at dusk, yet inside, the greenery of the setting gives way to the contrast of man-made design. The single-decker seating has been removed but the main driving area is still intact and, behind it, there is now a kitchen, complete with a sink, oven and hobs and all the crockery and utensils you could need. From there, the kitchen becomes a living space, with a sofa, dining table and a toasty wood-burning stove (logs provided), while the beds are at the very rear of the bus – sleeping four in a double and two bunk beds.
There’s no denying this is a unique place to stay: the bus is comfortable and warm – paraffin-style lanterns and the cosy, cocoon shape of the beds give it all a homely feel – but it also retains much of its original character. The lime green poles with their dinging ‘stop’ buttons, for example, still rise from the rug-covered floor and the baggage shelf is now a handy, wood-block worktop in the kitchen.
It’s an easy walk from the campsite to the local pub, a suitably rural establishment with inconsistent opening times and a fabulous location beside the canal, or walk the half-hour to Whittington village where two further pubs are joined by the only community-owned castle in the country. The 12th-century keep and surrounding buildings are largely ruined but the two imposing gatehouse towers are impressive and it’s well worth an hour or so of exploring. Further afield, meanwhile, Chirk Castle and Powys Castle offer plenty more historical intrigue besides. You look for one castle and then three come