Scotland Flag

Gretna >  Google™ Map Apr 2016+  Dumfries and Galloway Coat of Arms

greot grit + hoh Old English hill spur. Population - 2,705.

Scotland Flag UK > Scotland > Dumfries and Galloway

Apr 2016+

Dumfries and Galloway Coat of Arms

Of course there's a wedding and no, there's not a shotgun involved, cheeky! Gretna certainly has that reputation but as convenient locations to put a ring on it before heading up to the Highlands go, this one knots all the ties.

Some of the time will be spent attending the ceremonial before feasting on traditional, Scottish fayre. You will, however, have to get here early for there's a trail of traffic nearly back to the end of the M6 and they say romance is dead, eh?

Just down from the Registry Office, St. Andrew's Parish Church caters for the more traditional tying of the knot but, rather worryingly, there's a betting shop next door...

Gretna - St. Andrew's Parish Church

'£10 each-way on six months please.'
'Well, she might leave
him or he might leave her? Murder? God no! Just a simple each-way please.'

Like it's said, the place has a reputation for people doing things in a bit of a hurry. Yeah,  just do it then you can both put a speculative bet on next door.

Gretna is seemingly back in fashion despite it falling out of it in the noughties with wedding numbers taking a dip. One in six Scottish weddings now happen here and Dumfries & Galloway is the most popular county for a coupling. To be fair, they can't make that many other claims.

That's good news for the original Nandos™, opposite the Registry Office and right in the middle there.

Gretna - Original Nandos

It's not really the original, of course, but they do a decent, post-ceremony portion of pie and chips making for a very unconventional union.

It's clear that the South African poultry purveyors haven't been to Gretna. If they had, and in these litigious times, they'd have threatened to shut this place down with no clucking about.

It's guessed the love isn't really being felt? Where's the romance? The anvils, the pipers, the whitewashed cottages? Well, you'll have to head out under the motorway to Gretna Green for that.

This is the old village and where their matrimonial reputation was forged. A loophole in 18th-century marriage law didn't apply in Scotland and this was the first reachable place from England where 14-year-old boys could take their 12-year-old brides 'up the border'.

There are still half a dozen or so companies offering their nuptial services in and around here. Having checked them out, it's now realised that it's very difficult to make 'Single glass of Champagne.' and 'Accommodation is on a B&B only basis.' sound that romantic.

There are two things to do in Gretna. One is to 'jump the broomstick', the other is to try and buy a novelty, kitsch one at Caledonia Park, formerly the Gretna Gateway Outlet Village.

Gretna - Caledonia Park

This was taken at about 10:30 AM, admittedly on a Saturday morning, and the last parking spot was just about nabbed but who exactly is coming here?

If you're from Carlisle, there's no real reason, ditto Dumfries and there's not much, population-wise, in between? It's not so much about the monogamy, more the mahogany, that bit of furniture you don't really need.

Ties that bind? More like tie-back blinds!

  Caledonia Park (Glasgow Road)

Ties that bind? More like tie-back blinds! Sorry, but that one is very much being had so there it is again.

What's What
 Caledonia Park