We look forward to welcoming you this winter to Christmas at Bute Park ✨
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1st Dec – 1st Jan 2023 Cardiff
Are Dogs Welcome?

Well-behaved dogs with responsible owners are welcome. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and be comfortable with large crowds, loud noises and fire.

Our COVID Safety Promise

Following the latest Government announcements we want to reassure customers that as a fully outdoor experience, Christmas at Bute Park is COVID compliant.

To have a safe and enjoyable experience please read the below before your visit:

-Customers should arrive at the time of the ticket slot booked, with each entry time having a 15 minute window until the next time slot.

-Customers do not need to show a COVID pass to enter the trail, but are welcome to wear a face covering.

-Please note we will contact customers with information if any changes are made that affect either the operation of, or attendance at the trail.

-You can find further information about whether you are entitled to a refund here. 

-If the pandemic was to evolve, we would update all customers by email regarding any changes to the event.


What precautionary measures are being undertaken to ensure the trail does not have any adverse impacts to its setting?

The trail takes its responsibility for working in such a valuable setting seriously. The trail will improve access to the site and actively celebrates the park’s heritage features and tree collection. Both an independent tree and an independent ecology specialist were commissioned by the trail to ensure flora and fauna are not negatively impacted by the trail. They have worked with us to develop appropriate methodologies and ensure the trail production adequately mitigates any risks. The conclusions of our independent consultants are included below for reference.

Acer Ecology said: “Provided the precautionary and mitigation measures detailed are implemented, the development is not anticipated to result in adverse impacts to any protected sites, habitats, or species. The site’s ecological value is not considered to represent a fundamental in-principal constraint to the proposed development. Providing the recommendation within the report are followed, the proposed lighting will not significantly affect the local distribution or abundance of bats within the site and a protected species licence from NRW will not be required.”

Treecare Consulting said: “The light trail is using areas of the park not commonly used. The lighting needs also mean that trees feature heavily in the support for lighting systems. On this basis, Treecare Consulting has undertaken a further tree safety assessment (specific to the trail) in addition to the normal Cardiff city council tree safety assessments. The public safety need for the trail has highlighted some key areas of tree work required. Some of this work is standing dead trees that are in falling distance of paths used by the light trail. These trees will be made safe yet the wood retained on site as habitat.

Removal of dead wood over paths used by the trail is also being carried out. The expected high volume of pedestrians in the vicinity of trees means that loose or unstable sections of dead wood has to be removed.

All trees within the park arboretum are treated with the greatest respect. Therefore there is a positive schedule of recommended tree work that will help maintain trees for the light trail and also the long term future of the public visiting the park.

Treecare consulting have worked closely with the Christmas at Bute Park trail team to ensure all their lighting works are undertaken with a methodology that protects tree health. The site team have experience of working in similar settings (e.g. Kew Gardens) and are competent to undertake the work. Dead trees and branches identified along the trail will be felled in advance of the trail opening to manage risk and promote the safety of the trail audience. This is positive maintenance of the arboretum collection and will allow it to be enjoyed by visitors in the best possible condition.

We can assure visitors that all recommendations will be followed.

Does the event accept cash & card payments?

We are an entirely cashless site, so all food & drink items will need to be purchased on card.

What impact does the trail have on normal public access to Bute Park?

We are pleased to say that hosting the Christmas at Bute Park trail has limited impact on normal public access to the park. Visitors to Bute Park can enjoy the site in the normal way during daylight hours. Bute Park is locked 30 minutes before dusk throughout the year, and for the period of the trail, the normal park locking time is 3:45pm. However, a section of the park will be closed off slightly earlier so it can be prepared for re-opening to trail ticket holders. The area effected is shown in the map below and will be closed off from 3pm instead of 3:45pm. The area used by the trail and shown in the map below is open for normal public access between 7am and 3pm.

An evening-only cycle and “active travel” diversion is in place whilst the trail is in operation as also shown on the map below. This maintains what is an important route across the city centre. As park visitors will know, the east-west designated commuter route ordinarily stays open, even after park locking, to provide a useful route for active travellers. We are pleased to have been able to maintain this popular route by implementing the diversion shown. In daylight hours, when the park is open as normal we advise the usual path is used for people’s convenience.


Can I bring my pushchair / buggy?

Of course, the trail is accessible for pushchairs and buggies.

Can I bring my stall and trade at this event?

We are fully booked for traders at this year’s event, however you are welcome to email hello@christmasatbutepark.com with your details, which we can keep on file for next year, and in the event of any cancellations.

Can I bring scooters / bikes / skates?

No, these are not permitted at the event.

How long does it take?

The light trail is approximately 60 minutes long followed by a food and drink hub, which you are welcome to enjoy for as long as you like.

What are your opening and closing times?
Access to the trail is by pre-booked time slot, with final access 15 minutes after the time slot booked. The trail will close 90minutes after the final trail start time.
What dates can I attend?

Christmas at Bute Park runs from 25th November till 31st December (excluding Christmas Day). 

What is a light trail?

A Christmas light trail is a walking trail through a series of Christmas themed illuminated installations to a festive soundtrack.

What should I wear?

As it’s winter we advise waterproof and warm clothing and if wet, wear suitable footwear.

Who is Christmas at Bute park suitable for?

Christmas at Bute Park is suitable for friends, family and children of all ages!

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