Lockdown projects for most people looked like learning a language or teaching themselves to paint - but that was not the case for Gill and Dave Rivers. 

The couple, who live on a working farm in Great Burdon, on the outskirts of Darlington, took on a novel project - converting their bus into a two-bedroom, luxury holiday home. 

The Northern Echo: The Holiday Farm Bus.

The bus had previously served as a petting farm, but when Covid arrived, trade dried up.

The bus was made in 1987, and was supposed to be exported to Hong Kong, but when the deal fell through, it was grounded in the UK.

Read more: Tributes pour in for Northumberland's Sycamore Gap tree

The Northern Echo: The unique holiday home is dog-friendly.

Only two of the failed Hong Kongese buses were built in the end, and the one that was destined to become the Holiday Farm Bus was purchased by Stagecoach, ferrying hundreds of thousands of passengers through the eighties, nineties and noughties. 

Years later, in 2011, it fell into the hands of the Rivers family. The small-holding fanatics converted it into the 'Farmyard Flyer', a mobile farm that advertised itself as "bringing the farm to you". 

The Northern Echo: The bus's kitchen.

With a background as a teacher, Mrs Rivers educated schoolchildren on farming by guiding them through a bus filled with large farm animals on the lower deck, and smaller animals, like rabbits, lizards and chinchillas, on the upper deck.

At the time, an inventive Northern Echo reporter titled his story on the bus "The squeals on the bus go round and round." Read his report here

The Northern Echo: The bus's toilet.

The family were kept busy with the farm bus, and had no intentions of stopping. 

But "day one of Covid killed that dead," sais bus hotelier and farmer Mr Rivers. 

Get the latest news, sports, and entertainment delivered straight to your device by subscribing to The Northern Echo here

The Northern Echo: The second double bedroom.

With all of their farm animals off the bus, no end to the lockdowns in sight, and the double-decker bus mouldering in their farmyard, the usually busy family were at a bit of a loose end. 

Mr Rivers said: "We didn't know what to do with it - but then one day, I just woke up and thought about glamping."

The Northern Echo: The bus's bathroom.

With the help of a builder friend, who had recently had a kidney transplant and was highly vulnerable to Covid, the Rivers started to renovate the bus. 

Mr Rivers lent a hand with all of the "heavy lifting", with his wife doing much of the designing and interior work. 

The Northern Echo: The bus has an outdoor seating area.

It has been an ordeal of blood, sweat and tears - literally, at points, with Mr Rivers smashing his finger whilst trying to remove the bus's engine to make more internal room. 

"After doing all of the renovation work, we opened on March 12 of this year. It's just taken off so much more than we could ever have expected. It's really just unbelievable."

The Northern Echo: A lush seating area with fire.

Read next: 

The Northern Echo: The bus's kitchen.

But, it has all paid off now. As a testament to the Holiday Farm Bus's success and popularity, since opening its doors, there have not been four clear days where the bus has not been booked out.

The couple documented their bus renovation journey on their Facebook page, the Holiday Farm Bus,  amassing hundreds of followers. 

Stays on the bus can be booked through AirBnB. 

The Northern Echo: One double bedroom.