Gretna Green village and Gretna town
are situated next to each other in
Dumfries & Galloway south Scotland,
on the border with England, next to the
A74 / M6 motorway, 23 miles southeast of
The area is best known for runaway
weddings at the famous Blacksmiths, and
its many hotels.
See also a large Click On Map for the
area Top Attractions.
The image top is of the Old Blacksmiths in
Gretna Green where most of the weddings take
place, around 1,500 per year.
The image second top is of the Sculpture
Garden at the Old Blacksmiths, a popular place
for tourists taking photos.
This is now one of the top attractions in
Scotland, attracting tourist from around the
The Old Blacksmiths Museum shows living
conditions and dresses from when weddings began
here in 1754.
There are three marriage rooms with the
Original room seen right. Ceremonies take about
20 minutes. If you are visiting the museum when
a ceremony is taking place, you know when the
couple are wed when you hear the hammer hitting
You can only view this room between
The two other marriage rooms are next door,
The Sadlery and Rennison Room.
The museum also has a number of vintage
carriages on display, a large souvenir shop,
restaurant and shops.
Gretna Hall Hotel in Gretna Green has
a Coachouse also popular for weddings, as seen
right. The hall also has scenic gardens for
wedding photos. The hall was built in 1710,
later converted to a coaching inn, and began
weddings in 1885.
Gretna Old Parish
Church is situated in Gretna Green centre,
also popular for wedding ceremonies. The
earliest parts of the church date to the 1600s,
although much of what can be seen today dates
to the early 1900s.
Railway Station is situated behind the
church with a large car park. The station
allows travel between Gretna Green and
Dumfries, Carlisle and Glasgow.
Gretna Town is situated on the west side of
the motorway with its top attraction being the
Gretna Gateway has a good selection of shops
and eateries, popular with the vast numbers of
tourists visiting the area.
The Old Toll Bar is
situated in Gretna town right next to the
border with England, first or last building in
Scotland. The Old Toll also provides wedding
ceremonies, over 10,000 since 1830. The bar is
also popular for meals and has a cafe.
Gretna & Gretna Green History
1612 - a custom post was set up at Gretna
Green to collect taxes on cattle crossing the
border, leading to growth in the area.
1754 - an Act of Parliament was introduced
in England that restricted marriage in England,
including preventing the marriage of anyone
under 21, unless they had their parents or
The act did not apply to Scotland, leading
to many young couples running off to Gretna
Green, first town in Scotland. Many marriages
were carried out by Blacksmiths, tradesmen
regarded as the most respectable of the
1857 - an English Act of Parliament stated
marriages in Scotland would only be recognized
in England if one of the couple had been
resident in Scotland for at least three weeks
before the wedding, leading to a reduction in
1914 - during WWI, the town of Gretna
evolved to house workers at a huge munitions
factory close by on the Sloway Firth.
1940 - marriages in Scotland by non
clergyman or official registrar were outlawed,
leading to a reduction of marriages at
1994 - restrictions on marriages were
lifted, allowing anvil weddings to take place
at Gretna and Gretna Green again, although they
then had to be carried out by a clergymen.
2002 - registrars are also allowed to carry
out Anvil Weddings.