Gretna Green The Essential
Gretna became famous for its smithy weddings and eloping couples. After an 18C law made clandestine weddings illegal in England, the number of ceremonies of this type taking place here boomed, as Scottish law only required a declaration in front of witnesses. Despite an 1857 law obliging future newlyweds to live in Scotland for at least 21 days before marriage, the practice remained popular until it was banned by Parliament in 1940.