Scotland Flag

Moffat >  Google™ Map May 2015  Dumfries and Galloway Coat of Arms

mowat (family-name) from magh plain + fada Scottish Gaelic long. Population - 2,500.

Scotland Flag UK > Scotland > Dumfries and Galloway

May 2015

Dumfries and Galloway Coat of Arms

The bustling high street isn't all that long or for that matter particularly plain, it's actually quite wide and eye catching. There are two streets, you see, and the Moffat Ram sits on the island in between causing you to watch your Green Cross Code™s.

The Moffat Ram

One street takes you to the motorway where Glasgow and Cumbria beckon, the other into border country and ultimately Edinburgh.

The bronze statue of the ram was unveiled in 1875 by a local businessman as a celebration of the thriving town and its part in his woolly profits although they'd probably have preferred some flushing lavs.

Looks like the sculptor was out celebrating with him the night before because, apparently, it's got no ears! He also did Greyfriars Bobby in Edinburgh and unless Bobby is really Bobb-ie, he's missed a bit off that as well.

  Moffat House Hotel (High Street)

Best Western™-run hotel near the top of the high street. The best thing about Best Western™s is that there's never any attempt to modernise the bar or restaurant. That means there's never anybody in. That means it's usually quiet. That means SlyBob's happy.

Unlike the 28 staff who lost their jobs when it closed in December 2019 so no, not because of you-know-what. That made it unusually quiet for a while although it has since reopened just not under the Best Western™ brand. That means it's no longer known if it's quiet but why waste an observation on Best Western™s?

The backstreets have a more intimate feel and you'll probably end up here as you try to locate the local Italian restaurant.

Moffat - Well Street

Wandering blindly, you'll fail to do so and fail to understand how the heck not given the size of the place settling instead for the pretty good Tandoori on the high street.

  Bombay Cuisine (High Street)

Down the stairs, next to the hardware store and an alternative when you can't find the Italians. The young waitress asked if any water was wanted...

'No thanks, but I'll have something that's mostly water, Cobra™?'
(pause)... 'Ha Ha Ha! Mostly water.' She loved it. 'There you are, mostly water Ha Ha Ha!'

Admittedly not Bob's best stuff but she was still laughing on the way out.

Not for much longer she wouldn't, however. Here's another casualty in the permanently closed category and disastrously, there's no alternative tandoori provider in town. Still, what a rib-tickling tale eh?

In and around the backstreets, this fine building still operates in its original guise of a Working Men's Institute of sorts.

The Proudfoot Indoor Sports & Social Club still has carpet bowls but the Tennent's has since replaced the temperance.

Back in the 1890s, then local landowner William Proudfoot went and willed the proceeds of his South African estate to give the place a facelift. This is largely what can be seen today and aside from a short spell as a World War I hospital, the club's seen serving the workers of Moffat sporty diversions ever since.

Now, that Italian restaurant? It's around here somewhere but there's still no sign? Might just have to pop in here, instead, and settle for a game of shove ha'penne, eh?

  Claudios Restaurant (Burnside Road)

Italian restaurant that's on Burnside Road, wherever that is.

Despite being quite far south for Scotland, it really is quite wild and remote around here making this place a great base for an outdoor weekend. It's also the second place of any significance on the first half of the Southern Upland Way, a gruelling 212-mile coast-to-coast walk from Portpatrick in the west, all the way to just east of Edinburgh.

Some people have been known to bang on a bit about the West Highland Way, you know, the 100-mile-long trek from Milngavie to Fort William? For the Southern Upland, you'll need a tent early on as B&Bs are very thin on the ground, there's no man in a van to carry your rucksacks and don't even think about a bus when the weather turns.

Moffat also once had a reputation as a small spa town. The source of the water is only a couple of miles away and you can walk out to inspect the original well. You can extend this walk into the hills for a strenuous hike uphill towards St Mary's Loch.

Moffat - St Mary's Church

Ironically, back in town, St Mary's Church is mostly flat(s).

As for the Southern Upland Way, the small town of Sanquhar is of a similar size and as for the West Highland, plans to do it again are currently on hold.

  Annandale Arms Hotel and Restaurant (High Street)

Fancy-looking accommodation and restaurant with top-notch music in the cosy bar at weekends. They also serve beer that's not the ubiquitous Belhaven™ Best. What's that? Innis & Gunn™, since you ask.

The live music was essentially some serenading by a trio of folksy troubadours with a very obscure back catalogue. These were three of the best-tuned instruments ever heard and Bob knows a bit about your G-string being a bit off.

This was then only spoiled by a crowd of rude, posh Geordies jabbering loudly over the intricate fretwork. Speaking earlier of Italians you don't see much of, If only they'd launched into some  Joe Dolce as a hint for them to shaddap-a-their faces. It's a nice-a-place and some people have got-a-no-respect.

Yes, it's known that you know he's an American-born Australian but you get the idea, eh?

What's What
 Annandale Arms Hotel and Restaurant
 Claudios Restaurant
 Moffat House Hotel