So, our latest Jolly jaunt took us just over the border to bonny Scotland where the sun shone all weekend.
We headed to Moffat, a Victorian Spa town on the River Annan, and stayed on the Camping & Caravanning Club Site which is situated just a 5-minute walk from the town centre. It was a perfect two-night stop-over location.
This is a large 180 pitch site and most if not all pitches were occupied this weekend. The pitches are well spaced out though giving a relaxed and open enough feel. The wardens were very warm in their welcome and allow visitors to choose a pitch from a map on the reception wall before escorting you down to it.
There’s a cycle hire shop just outside the main gate if you want to explore further afield by bike. Our bikes stayed on the back of Jolly this time though as everything was within easily walkable distance. There’s also a handy Co-op just outside the site entrance for any necessities.
Moffat is a town that relies heavily on tourism and therefore offers the expected array of shops, hotels, restaurants, and bars. It also hosts a number of events throughout the year including the Moffat Sheep Races, Classic Car Rally, Christmas Festival and Gala Day. More info can be found here …
There’s a museum with free entry if you want to learn more about the history of the town.
The town is mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records as having the world’s narrowest hotel. The Star Hotel dates from the late 1700’s and is just 20 ft wide and 162 ft long. Moffat also claims to have both the narrowest Street (Syme Street) and shortest Street (Chapel Street) in Scotland. We can vouch for a good pint in the Star Hotel 😉
There’s another tourist attraction in the town centre called ‘The Moffat Ram’. It’s a fountain and a symbol of the town’s historical connection to the sheep and wool trade. The Statue was a gift to the townspeople by businessman William Colvin, and was originally a drinking fountain. After William Colvin had commissioned the sculpture, there was a grand unveiling ceremony. During the ceremony a local farmer noticed the ram “Had nae lugs” and it is said he shouted out this fact to all the crowd at the gathering.
On closer examination, it was clear the Moffat Ram had no ears. This mistake became too much of a burden for the Sculptor, William Brodie, who supposedly committed suicide at the Annandale Arms Hotel across the road and is said to wander the corridors of the hotel on an eternal search for the missing lugs ….
Hmm, no ghostly noises or sightings for us but again we can vouch for a good pint at the Annandale Arms! 😉
In September each year the town marks the anniversary of the Battle of Britain, one of WWII’s most prominent battles). It remembers a local hero who was considered to be a mastermind in the winning of the battle. Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding was born in Moffat and there’s a memorial to him which stands in Station Park.
Station Park looked beautiful in the sunshine. There’s a little boating lake, putting green and plenty of benches to sit and chill out, which we did for a while. That was after an eventful arrival into the park and one which amused Brian no end. He had found a shortcut from the shop to the park down an embankment and across a precariously balanced plank of wood which he maneuvered across expertly. Then yours truly had a go, only to lose my footing (and dignity) as the plank slipped, propelling me into the embankment. Still, I got across! 😜
During our visit we ate at ‘The Beef Tub’, the restaurant of the Buccleuch Arms Hotel and thoroughly enjoyed our meal here – Heart-warming Traditional Scottish Stovies ~ a blend of beef, lamb, pork & haggis slowly simmered with potatoes and vegetables served with oat cakes. Yum! It’s worth booking though because this place seemed very popular.
Another place which seemed to attract many people was Bombay Cuisine, so we tried this on our final night. We had our meal as take-out and enjoyed it back on Jolly. Big thumbs up to this meal too.
Finally, Moffat became Europe’s very first ‘Dark Sky Town’ in 2016 after three years’ hard work to achieve this title. This involved a push towards conversion to special street lighting which keeps light pollution to a minimum. So, no doubt it’ll be a favourite with stargazers. Actually, I was seeing stars after the embankment incident …
Anyway, Moffat was a delight and we’ll happily return at some point in the future, maybe out of season when the site is a little quieter, it’s open all year round.
We had a good journey home and it’s a couple of weeks now until our next Jolly adventure in June. It’ll be a 9-nighter and as always can’t come soon enough 🙂
Suzie & Bri