The Meadows remain one of the most important open spaces in Edinburgh and one of the most popular. There’s something for everyone with the biggest play area in the city, large grassed areas, tennis courts, cafe and toilets.
History and heritage
The park was once the site of the wind-swept Borough-Loch, which was part of the historic old Borough Muir, and one of the main water supplies for Edinburgh’s old town. In 1722 the Loch was leased to Thomas Hope, who completed drainage, created a walkway, lined with hedges and trees. When Melville Drive was opened in 1859 as part of the South Side development, it brought a further wave of popularity for walks, picnics or play. As the City grew, the Edinburgh Improvement Act of 1827 stated that ‘it should not be competent for the Lord Provost, Magistrates and Council, or any other person, without the sanction of Parliament obtained for the express purpose, at any time thereafter to erect buildings of any kind upon any part of the grounds called the Meadows or Bruntsfield Links so far as the same belongs in property to the Lord Provost, Magistrates and Council.’
In 1886, the International Exhibition of Industry, Science and Art was held in the Meadows, giving the site world-wide recognition.
Large flocks of starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) can be seen on the golf course links in the summer – with parents feeding their large brown chicks. In the winter, flocks of redwings descend on the Links and Meadows. These resemble thrushes but have a red breast and are surprisingly confident.
- Picnic Benches/Tables
- Play area
- Tennis Courts
Melville Drive, Edinburgh EH9 9EX