One of the great things about Edinburgh is its green areas. Princes Street Gardens, Arthur’s Seat or the Meadows: Each area is completely different from the others, yet they are all either in the city centre or in walking distance. In this article I will focus on the Meadows:
The Meadows is a large park to the south of the city centre. It extends to approximately 63 acres. Originally a loch (Burgh Loch or South Loch) providing the citizens with drinking water, it was partially drained in the mid-17th century. Sir Thomas Hope, a politician decided in 1722 to expand the drainage work and to convert the marsh land into a park by making walkways and planting rows of trees planted on each side of the walkways.
Today the park has a children’s playground, tennis courts, a croquet club and cricket pitches. It is bordered by Bruntsfield Links, which is basically an extension of the Meadows, where there is a public, free pitch and putt golf course. You can hire clubs if you don’t have your own.
The annual Meadows Festival with live music, stalls and a carnival with rides to go on is held in June. The Meadows also host the annual Fringe Sunday as part of the Edinburgh Festival.
George Square and University of Edinburgh buildings are located just next to the Meadows, which makes it a popular meeting point for students. Since the park consists mainly of wide open grassland crossed by tree-lined paths, it is common to see people playing football, rugby, cricket or frisbee on a nice day. It is also great for cycling, rollerblading, jogging, (dog) walking or just hanging around with friends.
Unfortunately, it is not the safest of places in the dark, and although the City Council announced plans to improve security in 2006, it is better to avoid the park at night, especially when on your own.
Whereas Princes Street Gardens is more about lying around, the Meadows is for active folk as well as for chilling out but the main attraction for me is definitely the countryside feel you get in the middle of the city.
If you would like to comment on The Meadows or other green areas in Edinburgh, please go ahead!