Every June in Edinburgh the Meadows Festival takes place over a weekend. The Meadows is a major cycle route in the city and also part of National Cycle Route One, so you might want to time your bike ride for when the festival is taking place. There is a massive selection of food and drink stalls, live music, loads of antique stalls with plenty of interesting curios, clothing stalls and dog shows. Take a rest from the saddle, sit on the grass in the sun, grab a burger, walk around the stalls and enjoy the atmosphere.
The Meadows Festival is free and takes place on a Saturday and Sunday. It is very popular and attracts about 25,000 people, but the Meadows are huge, so there is plenty of space for everyone. If there is warm and sunny weather people pick a spot on the grass to take a break between browsing stalls or to eat something delicious.
The live music begins around 11.00 am and there are leaflets at most of the stalls with the line up of local bands:
The selection of food and drink stalls is impressive. I tried a delicious fresh lemonade from Mutley's Crepes and they were doing a roaring trade in savoury and sweet crepes. I saved myself for an applewood smoked hot dog from a nearby stall.
The Marshmallow Lady also had a stall. Let me tell you, these are the best marshmallows you will ever taste. They come in exciting flavours like Chocolate Mousse, Prosecco & Rose, and Maple Bacon and Raspberry. They taste much better than traditional marshmallows. Trust me on this, they are amazing! I bought a bag of the Key Lime Pie flavour which features a biscuit base. Superb!
The dog shows give people a chance to take their pet around an agility course. I watched several pooches give this a go and some were plain awful, but the border collies seemed to do the best.
There are loads and loads of antique and trinket stalls. Books, CDs, clothes, tools, even a taxidermy warthog head with its hooves as coat hooks. You name it, you will find it here!
Some stalls are private individuals clearing out their attic and others are professional antique businesses. There are lots of bargains to be found, so you might want to attach some panniers to your bike so that you have space for a purchase or two.
The Pickering's Gin caravan was doing a roaring trade. This is a gin distilled in Edinburgh and they were selling a variety of flavoured tonics with their gin. Yes, I did have one and sat on the grass in the sun, enjoying the live music.
It is a bit impractical to wheel your bike around the festival, but there are railings on one side of the Meadows and I noticed loads of bikes locked up to these. So, park up, lock up and enjoy the festival on foot.
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.