Sandby's humorous depiction of a fair combines close observation with imaginative touches. Edinburgh's magnificent skyline, dominated by the castle, is recorded fairly accurately as viewed from Bruntsfield Links. On the left, Sanby included the Wrights House, an imposing fourteenth century baronial manor, demolished in 1800. The fair is, however, an imaginative reconstruction, probably based on the city's annual All Hallow's fair. Sandby delighted in sketching people as well as places and the scene is full of characters and lively incident. The number of red coats confirms the army's strong presence but also adds a colourful note to the composition.