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Gretna Green

Gretna Green is a village in the south of Scotland famous for runaway weddings. It is   near the mouth of the River Esk and was historically the first village in Scotland, following the old coaching route from London to Edinburgh. Today Gretna Green is one of the world’s most popular wedding destinations, hosting over 5,000 weddings each year and one of every six Scottish weddings. Gretna’s famous “runaway marriages” began in 1754 when Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act came into force in England. Under the Act you had to be 21 to get married in England and Wales but did not apply in Scotland, where it was possible for boys to marry at 14 and girls at 12 with or without parental consent. It was, however, only in the 1770s, with the construction of a toll road passing through the village, that Gretna Green became the first easily reachable village over the Scottish border. The Old Blacksmith’s Shop, built around 1712, and Gretna Hall Blacksmith’s Shop became, in popular folklore at least, the focal tourist points for the marriage trade. The local blacksmith and his anvil have become the lasting symbols of Gretna Green weddings. Scottish law allowed for “irregular marriages”, meaning that if a declaration was made before two witnesses, almost anybody had the authority to conduct the marriage ceremony. The blacksmiths in Gretna became known as “anvil priests.

1_Gretna_Green_Blacksmith_s_shop

Gretna’s two blacksmiths’ shops and countless inns and smallholding became the backdrops for tens of thousands of weddings. Today there are several wedding venues in and around Gretna Green, from former churches to purpose-built chapels and thousands of couples from around the world come to be married ‘over the anvil’ in Gretna Green.

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Mark and Lesley guided us around some fascinating sites within the region, some of which we did not know were there - even as locals!  The day was informative, relaxed and a great way to see around the wonderful, beautiful part of the world that we live in.

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The Scottish Borders
📹 St Mary's Loch, Talla & Megget Reservoirs by Marcin Kowalewczany

🏞️ St Mary's Loch is the largest natural loch in the Scottish Borders, and is situated on the A708 road between Selkirk and Moffat, about 45 miles south of Edinburgh.

It is 3.1 miles long and 0.62 miles wide, and was created by glacial action during the last ice age.

🌊 The loch is fed by the Megget Water, which flows in from the Megget Reservoir, and is the source of the Yarrow Water, which flows east from the loch to merge with the Ettrick Water above Selkirk.

⛪ The loch takes its name from a church dedicated to St Mary which once stood on its northern shore, although only the burial ground is now visible ✝️

📚 Local legend has it that the loch has no bottom, and it is reputed to be the coldest loch in Scotland ❄️

Immediately upstream from St Mary's Loch is the smaller Loch of the Lowes.

Between the two is Tibbie Shiel's Inn, an 18th-century coaching inn, which was frequented by the Border poet James Hogg (1770–1835) ✍🏻

👤 A statue of Hogg is located close to the inn.

🚶The Southern Upland Way and Sir Walter Scott Way long-distance walking routes both pass the shores of the loch 🗺️

Talla Reservoir, located a mile from Tweedsmuir, Scottish Borders, Scotland, is an earth-work dam fed by Talla Water. The reservoir is supplemented by water from the nearby Fruid Reservoir.

ℹ️ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Mary%27s_Loch & en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talla_Reservoir

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 #ScottishBorders
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The history, scenery and culture of Southern Scotland needs to be told and Lesley and Mark offer a fantastic balance of story telling and insightful knowledge of the area.

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