Famous Blacksmiths Gretna Green Experience
Fall in love with the World’s Greatest Love Story and dive into the history of true love & marriage in the UK’s first immersive attraction dedicated to romance.
DISCOVER THE STORY OF MARRIAGE THROUGH THE CENTURIES
What is the Gretna Green Experience?
Fully submerge yourself fully in the thrill of the chase as we take you through centuries of love, romance and marriage at Gretna Green, from the 1200s and the age-old tale of that first knock at the door when the Famous Blacksmiths Shop story began in 1754, through the rebellion and scandal of the traditional Gretna Green elopement wedding to the celebration of love over the iconic Blacksmith’s anvil that is typical of marriage ceremonies of the modern day.
Following a breathtaking refurbishment in 2022, what once was the Famous Blacksmiths Shop Museum is now a state-of-the-art immersive, interactive experience. Behold heart-warming tales and see romantic artefacts from days of old, when marriage was nothing more than simply living together, to the times of handfastings and blessings from the heart… all the way to Lord Hardwicke’s marriage act in 1754 which sought to stop lovers in England and Wales from tying the knot without parental consent under the age of 21, and yet led Gretna Green to become what it is today.
FEEL THE THRILL OF THE CHASE
Come face to face with a former Stagecoach that was used to carry passengers from Ambleside in the Lake District to Gretna Green, centuries ago - including runaway couples, crossing the border into Scotland.
Sense the excitement in the air and feel the thrill as we take you through the rebellious journeys of couples fleeing England and Wales to seal their love over the Anvil in Gretna Green. Allow us to take you through all the emotions of love and romance, and feel the intensity of what it was truly like to run away and tie the knot!
MEET OUR BLACKSMITHS PRIESTS & PRIESTESSES
Travel back in time and hear history from the trailblazing history makers themselves.
Join us as we take you on an immersive journey to come face-to-face with our Blacksmiths priests and priestesses. Touch the interactive boards and listen on the headsets as you hear the story of how they became a key part of ensuring couples were safe and wed. Take a look below at the phenomenal, historic characters who you’ll meet along the way.
The 'Blacksmith Priest'
Lang & Elliot
|A larger-than-life character, prone to a drink or ten. Hear how he became the ‘Grand Old Man’ of Gretna Green.
|Two men who fought to take over Joseph Paisley’s patch. Hear how the feud unfolded.
The 'Blacksmith Priestess'
The Last Anvil Priest
|A typical ‘granny’ dressed in black. Hear the story of the elderly entrepreneur underneath the shawl.
|Initially a saddler with a café in Gretna Green, hear the story of how he got involved in love & marriage.
SEE AND HEAR ORIGINAL REAL-LIFE LOVE STORIES FIRST-HAND
Journey back into the present to read and hear the stories of real-life Gretna Green couples, who prove that love really does conquer all, with our romantic love stories from past couples themselves. Listen to their tales of love, romance and elopement to marry and get a glimpse of their real love letters and marriage records that signified their unbreakable bonds.
MEET THE FAMILY BEHIND THE BUSINESS
‘Meet’ the family behind Gretna Green and understand its story through the years from Hugh Mackie taking over the Famous Blacksmiths Shop in 1885 to restore it to its original glory to it being passed down the generations of family custodians who gradually built Gretna Green into what it is today.
• Learn about the founder – Hugh Mackie – who had an idea at 19 years old whilst witnessing a wedding in the Famous Blacksmiths Shop – that he brought to life 35 years later…
• Learn about Hugh Mackie’s son – George and his wife Dorothy who took over from Huge in the early 20th century.
• Learn the story of how George and Dorothy’s daughter Moira met Adair Houston, and how their vision to build The Famous Blacksmiths Shop attractions through the next four decades, changed the face of Gretna Green.
• Meet Moira and Adair’s son, Alasdair – the late Chairman of Gretna Green – and understand how his vision helped Gretna Green become the beacon of true love it is today, including the introduction of our suite of hotels.
• Learn how Alasdair met his wife Lucy and meet their children Rafe and Tara – the next generation responsible for continuing the romantic traditions of the Original Home of Romance.
TOUCH THE ORIGINAL ANVIL FOR GOOD LUCK IN LOVE
End your spine-tingling immersive journey through the love & romance heritage of Gretna Green by stepping into our amazing atmospheric surround Cinerama that tells the tale of Gretna Green on a huge, curved screen and makes the hairs on the back of your neck rise up.
Take the opportunity to get up close to the original blacksmith's marriage anvil that started it all and make sure to touch it before you leave to bring some much welcomed good luck in love. Think about those close to your heart as you do whether they’re present or lost and lose yourself for a moment with the emotion of love that hangs in the air of Gretna Green.
BECOME A PART OF THE HISTORY AND LEAVE YOUR STORY ON THE HORSESHOE WALL
As your experience comes to a close, make sure to etch your name and story into our rich, romantic history by telling your tale on one of our horseshoes for future guests to take in.
Join thousands of couples who’ve hung their tale on the wall telling the story of how they met, how they married, how they celebrated that big anniversary or how Gretna Green holds a special place in their hearts.
SHOP THE GRETNA GREEN EXPERIENCE
Finish your experience in the Gretna Green Experience Shop where you can take home a piece of the World’s Greatest Story of Love - enjoy a taste of Scottish Whisky or Gin, and shop our range of Gretna Green gifts (including jewellery, glasses, cashmere, Harris Tweed, and homeware), pick up a Scottish souvenir from your trip or take home a bottle of our signature Gretna Green branded Whisky and our newly crafted, Gretna Green Gin.
Immerse yourself in history, love and romance, feel the thrill of the chase, touch the lucky anvil and then take home a little piece of the magic, all at the Original Home of Romance.
The Gretna Green Experience is open 7 days a week, from 9 am to 5 pm, with extending opening and closing times between April and October. The only day we’re closed is Christmas Day.
The last admission to the Gretna Green Experience is 30 minutes before closing time.
TICKETS & ADMISSION
Tickets to this unmissable bucket list attraction are available to purchase at Gretna Green during your visit. Buy your admission tickets at the Famous Blacksmiths Gretna Green Experience Shop when you arrive.
We offer a range of ticket options, including Adult, Child, Concession, Group and Family tickets available.
*Prices correct as of 30/03/2023. Subject to change without notice. Please see the admission board on the day for the most up-to-date pricing.