Gretna is the main international gateway to Scotland, situated at Scotland’s southern border. For centuries this was a lawless part of the world, the Debatable Lands, where warlike families on either side of the border raided their neighbours’ cattle and burnt down their castles.

Today the border marks a point on the road between two very different, but hugely successful and innovative countries. Of the 60% of visitors entering Scotland by road, 84% pass by Gretna.

"A border offers identity but one that is enriched by neighbours, so that it’s not so much a line of separation as a local set of interconnected values." Cecil Balmond


Gretna Landmark is not only a major opportunity to demonstrate the particular nature of Scotland by alerting visitors to the moment of crossing this historic border - but also to astonish that audience with the ingenuity, beauty and audacity of our creativity. We want visitors to explore the boundary between Scotland and England, creating a meaningful and unforgettable experience that shapes present impressions and future inspiration. Star of Caledonia will be a flagship for innovation in science and culture. It will be a connector and through clever digital technology will send visitors out from Gretna to explore other important destinations throughout the Borderlands area.

“Star of Caledonia has a strong sense of community ownership – the project grew out of people and place. It will promote an image of the region which emphasizes the international strengths and landscape assets that give the region a competitive advantage”Jan Hogarth on community ownership

Gretna is the main border crossing into Scotland and the southern entry into Scotland, with over 5 million vehicles travelling north and south every year.


Currently the experience of crossing the river Sark (the actual border) is underwhelming and only a clutch of motorway signs prevent us from missing the border altogether. We feel visitors and Scots deserve a much grander and more meaningful welcome to Scotland.