On May 22 1915, Quintinshill siding, near Gretna, was the site of a horrific rail disaster which left 220 people dead and 246 injured. The disaster at Quintinshill never had the high public profile of many lesser incident because it happened during wartime, where the reporting of it was restricted. This trail will allow you to visit the memorial to those who died and the plaque which commemorates the disaster on Blacksike Bridge which overlooks the crash site. Today, little trace of Quintinshill remains - the signal box was pulled down in the early 1970s and the loops had been removed by the 1990s.
The Queen’s Head has enjoyed a long and interesting past. Its outward appearance has changed little over the years - the building still looks much as it did 200 years ago. The Gretna Green area has long been famous for ‘runaway weddings’ and the Queens Head is a part of that history. In the 18th century Gretna Green was little more than a few cottages, a small number of farms and a church. The Maxwell Arms and the Queens Head, known as the Marriage House, were the first two hostelries over the border and were the venues for many of the early weddings.
The village of Springfield started life in 1791 on land belonging to Sir William Maxwell of Springfield Farm. Springfield has enjoyed an interesting history - it has remained unspoiled and it is easy to imagine how the village would have looked in the past.
'In the year 1791, a new village was begun on the farm of Springfield, where upwards of 40 houses have been already built, or are now building. This village is situated on a dry, healthy soil, upon an eminence above the Sark, the river which is here the boundary of the United Kingdoms.'
This 5.6 mile walk will take around 2 and a half hours walking at an average pace.
This trail will take you out of Gretna along a mixture of country paths, tracks and fields; make sure you wear comfortable walking boots or shoes.
There are several gates and the odd stile to negotiate along the way together with some steps and a few gentle hills.
Some of the paths are muddy after rainfall so make you are suitably prepared for the weather conditions.
Please take great care when walking along the road section of the trail and when walking through farmland, please keep dogs on leads.
The trail starts and finishes in Gretna town centre where there is ample free parking.