Planning a holiday in the Kippford area and interested in seeing as many sights as possible? If so, you’re going to want to tack on a visit to Moffat, a parish and burgh found in Dumfries and Galloway. This cute little destination is steeped with natural beauty, and a welcoming atmosphere, and has the title of being the ‘centre of the wool trade’, commemorated with a statue of a ram by William Brodie in the town’s marketplace. The ram was presented to the town by William Colvin, a local businessman, in 1875.
So here’s a closer look at why Moffat should be on your must-visit list.
Moffat is part of Dumfries and Galloway and can be found right on the River Annan. It is 51 miles southwest of Edinburgh, 59 miles southeast of Glasgow, 44 miles northwest of Carlisle and 21 miles northeast of Dumfries. This makes it very conveniently located to big tourist destinations, yet far enough removed that you’ll find yourself deep in the countryside.
The population of the town is quite small, with only about 2,500 residents, but expect a warm welcome when you arrive.
Moffat Even Has a Guinness Book of Records Title
For such a relatively small destination you may be surprised to learn it has a Guinness Book of Records title. That’s right; Moffat has the title of the narrowest hotel in the world. That hotel is called the Star Hotel and comes in at just 6m or 20ft wide. It’s hard to picture a hotel that narrow, but thanks to Moffat you don’t have to try to imagine what it would look like.
While it’s certainly cool to stay in the narrowest hotel in the world, if that’s not your cup of tea you can always check out Moffat House Hotel designed by John Adam and located on High Street.
It Was the Spas That First Attracted Tourists
While there are lots of little towns and villages that land on the tourist map thanks to industry and businesses that have built up the area, for Moffat it was the spas that first attracted tourists. Its spa town origins date back to 1633 thanks to the natural saline and sulphurous waters in the area. It’s exactly these properties that people look for thanks to the belief that they can offer healing, restorative and other positive benefits.
Fast-forward 100 years, and the area adopted iron springs, which also became very much in demand. Finally, in 1878 hoteliers realised the potential windfall they had on their hands and build the Hydropathic Hotel meant to appeal to tourists looking to visit the spas. Unfortunately, the hotel was completely ruined in 1921 due to a fire.
And while plenty has changed over the past 100 years, the fact that it’s a spa destination hasn’t. Visitors still flock to the area to take advantage of its natural springs and waters.
The Sights and Sounds of Moffat – How to Spend Your Time
Whether you plan on visiting a spa or not, Moffat has plenty of other features and attractions to offer tourists. Its busy calendar of events is full all year round, which means you’re bound to find something interesting. Other highlights include cosy quaint and authentic pubs, delicious restaurants featuring the best cuisine Moffat has to offer, cafes for a quick snack and a break in sightseeing, and a rich history and culture you can delve into.
Active and Adventurous Travellers Won’t Be Bored
Not everyone is into spas, dining and visiting shops, some are more active and adventure-minded. If that sounds like you then you’ll be excited to hear about the paths and parks you can explore at your own pace. Because Moffat is surrounded by lush rolling hills, it creates the perfect landscape for hiking and walking paths.
There are paths perfect for a short little nature stroll and paths that can take you a full day to traverse. Those who enjoy biking can also cycle along many paths.
If you’re passionate about walking be sure to visit during the annual Moffat Walking Weekend. It is suitable for all ages and levels of walking.
Other activity-based features include the 18-hole golf course which is equally stunning and challenging.
Want to Explore the Arts and Entertainment Scene?
If the arts and entertainment scene appeals to you then The Proudfoot Institute is the place to visit. It is known for hosting live music sessions, and tourists can even take part and become a performer themselves. Other hotels in Moffat also offer live music sessions, simply research the hotel and check out its calendar of events.
Another option is the Old Well Theatre which regularly puts on musicals, plays, exhibitions and pantomimes. You can visit its website to learn more about upcoming entertainment and shows. The theatre calendar is always being updated, so you’ll be able to stay in the loop.
Other Interesting and Little-Known Facts About Moffat
And the facts don’t stop here, there are also some other cool little features about Moffat. Back in 1996, it won the Britain in Bloom contest and it’s home to the tasty Moffat toffee. And as mentioned, it’s well-known in the wool trade market, holding a strong presence since the mid-1800s.
- Grey Mare’s Tail
- Earshaig Lochs
- St Mary’s Loch
- The Moffat Museum
- Station Park
- Historic Houses
- Merlin Trail.
Curious about famous and notable people who were born in Moffat? Some of the names on the list may surprise you as they include:
- Danny Bhoy, comedian
- James B Niven, Scottish international football player
- James Fraser, Scottish international football player
- Sir Thomas Bouche, a civil engineer, designed the first Tay Bridge
- William Dickson, writer and abolitionist.
You’ll Be Blown Away By the Scenery, Experience and Welcome
So don’t be fooled by Moffat’s small size and tiny population as it will blow you away with its incredible scenery, unique experiences and the warm welcome you’re guaranteed to get.
Check out our holiday rentals if we’ve inspired you to explore our beautiful region.