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On the trail of Moffat’s USP

Section:  Moffat

THE world’s narrowest hotel, Moffat Toffee, Merlin, Lord Dowding . . . Moffat isn’t short of historic links, tasty treats or unique architecture. In fact, the town boasts so many jewels that it’s hard to know what it’s most known for. And now, a newly formed marketing team are looking to create a sense of identity and brand for the town …but what should it be? Reporter Amanda Kennedy and photographer Steve Matthew joined in the mission to find out what locals think Moffat should be put on the map for.

motorbiking moffat y6 *** Local Caption *** FEMALE RIDER . . . Hayley Howe

“GOING the extra mile” is a phrase that definitely sums up the friendly team at Moffat’s Buccleuch Arms Hotel.

Owned by Zimbabwean Dave Smith and his family since 2004, at face value it boasts two bars, a grill, 13 bedrooms and a function room.

But take a peek behind their high street hotel and you’ll discover a bikers’ paradise.

Their backyard hosts ten locked motorcycle garages, power washing facilities,ashed stocked up with supplies from oil to washer fluid and even a state of the art weather reading machine.

Indoors they have maps and ear plugs and best of all . . . it’s all free for their customers.

But arguably the finest feather in their cap is their bespoke mapping service. Using their own site, MotoGoLoco, the team at the Buccleuch can create a customised route, ensuring that Moffat is well and truly on the map.

Dave says their hotel is already famous in motorcycle circles with RiDE Magazine calling it “The most biker friendly hotel in the UK, if not Europe!”

motorbiking moffat y6 *** Local Caption *** LOCKED UP . . .the Smith brothers Clint and Lawrence, right, aka Polly

LOCKED UP . . .the Smith brothers Clint and Lawrence, right, aka Polly

And the hotelier and family man says that in the last year the already full-up Buccleuch turned down a whopping 4000 motorcyclists, recommending fellow Moffat hotels and B&Bs to them instead.

Dave said: “People think bikers and they often get this negative leather clad image in their head, they think here comes trouble.

“But that couldn’t be further from the case.

“The average biker tends to be in their 40s plus and they make some of the greatest hotel guests you could ask for.”

Foregoing hitting the bottle in favour of hitting the road, they never overindulge in alcohol.

Dave added: “They never get drunk. They want to be out enjoying themselves the next day, not hungover.

“Motorbikes aren’t cheap, therefore the majority of drivers are slightly older people withalot more disposable income and money to spend.”

motorbiking moffat y6 *** Local Caption *** MAPPED OUT . . . Dave and son Polly


MAPPED OUT . . . Dave and son Polly

Dave says he wants to encourage more motorcycle tourism to Moffat and hopes any riders he can’t accommodate still find a room elsewhere in the town.

He said: “Moffat offers something so few places can, it’s a beautiful town away from the hustle and bustle of city life but still totally unique and full of interesting places to stay and eat.

“It has beautiful scenery and it’s definitely underpromoted on the whole. The Buccleuch is already well known nationally and internationally in the motorcycle world and there’s room for the rest of Moffat to make the most of motorcycle tourism and make the town as friendly and welcoming as possible.”

WHAT do you think Moffat’s identity should be? Do you think you have the winning recipe for success in Moffat? If so, email Amanda at ajk@dngonline.co.uk or call 01461 202417 and we will come along and investigate.

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