Gretna & Gretna Green are villages in the south of Scotland, famous for runaway weddings, with around 5,000 couples tying the knot every year! Couples have been running away to get married at Gretna Green since 1754, originally taking advantage of Scotland's more relaxed wedding laws.
Historically it was to Gretna Green that young English runaway couples eloped so that they could be married ‘over the anvil’ from the age of 16.
Gretna, now part of a thriving visitor centre attracting thousands of tourists every year is in Dumfries and Galloway, near the mouth of the River Esk and was historically the first village in Scotland. The town of Gretna was built during the First World War to provide homes for 30,000 employees of a munitions factory that was the biggest in the world - an incredible nine miles long!
Be sure to visit The Devil's Porridge Museum in Eastriggs, The Devils Porridge was the name famously coined by Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, for the explosive mixture mixed by hand by female workers at HM Factory Gretna during World War One.
Work started on the factory in November 1915 to produce ammunition for the war effort, and it became one of the largest ever built. Its buildings stretched over nine miles from the outskirts of Annan and across the border to Longtown and the townships of Eastriggs and Gretna were created to house workers. It had its own railway network, power station, water treatment plant and telephone exchange, plus bakeries making 13000 loaves.
Visit Gretna Gateway Outlet Village retail complex located right on the Scottish border includes over 50 outlets offering discounted designer label items, plus cafes, restaurants and more.