Gretna is situated on the Scottish side of the borders of Scotland and England, it is the first village travellers come to when they enter Scotland. Traditionally Gretna was the spot where English couples would elope to get married, these days its more of a romantic retreat. This post looks at the top things to do in Gretna including accommodation, self catering, and hotels in Gretna.

Your Complete Guide to Gretna

The world-famous Gretna Green awaits you.  My Voyage Scotland picks its top things to do and hotels in Gretna below. 

Things to do in Gretna

things to do in gretna

Lovers come from all over the world to tie the knot in Gretna, why? Tradition.

In the 18th-century English law, tightened marriage arrangements so that couples had to be age 21 before they could marry (without their parents’ consent), Scottish law differed and couples could marry on the spot, either by declaration or a ‘handfasting’ ceremony.

 This meant that many childhood sweethearts would run away to Scotland to pursue their dreams of marriage – how romantic!

These days, although laws have changed and so much time has passed, many still slope to here to celebrate their love.

Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop

things to do in gretna

Whether you are planning on getting married or not, you must visit the place where couples have come to marry since 1754.

History fans will love this tourist attraction in Gretna as it brings to life the towns dramatic past with a fascinating collection of memorabilia and artefacts. At the Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop you will find everything from marriage letters to photographs of some of the rebel brides and grooms that have taken advantage of Scotland’s lenient marriage laws over the years.

Gretna Gateway

things to do in gretna

Fancy a shopping trip while you are staying in Scotland or the North of England? Make the pilgrimage to Gretna Gateway

This buzzing outlet village in the heart of the town is home to several designer brands and high street names. 

It is more than likely that you will find a bargain here as you can get up to 60% off original prices at brands like Nike, Polo, and Boss, to name just a few. 

The Devils Porridge Museum 

things to do in gretna

This 5-star museum in Gretna has won A Visit Scotland Thistle Award for Best Heritage Visitor Attraction in the West of Scotland.

This family-friendly museum is an educational experience dedicated to the people that worked in the largest munitions factory in the world during the First World War. It also commemorates and explores the stories of the Solway Military Coast during the Second World War. 

At the museum, you can learn more about the fascinating history of this Border area, see artifacts, read and watch films about these interesting periods of time. 

Dumfries & Galloway 

things to do in gretna
Caerlaverock Castle Dumfries and Galloway

While visiting Greta explore Dumfries & Galloway. Discover how beautiful this part of lowland Scotland is with your own eyes by day-tripping to one of its coastline destinations where you will find rocky shores and untouched sandy beaches. 

This part of the country is home to acres of forest and if you love green spaces make sure you bring your bike or walking boots with you. 


More things to do in Dumfries & Galloway