The ground conditions at Christmas at Bute Park are suitable for wheelchair users. The route is mostly on even ground, with a small number of ramped areas. There is a mixture of hard paths and temporary matting used. 

99% of the bulbs are LED with the remaining 1% being high efficiency low-energy lighting. All generators are powered by Green D+, renewable and sustainable biofuel. The lights are turned on at approximately 2pm. This allows maintenance and repair, plus daily operational and safety checks to be carried out before the trail opens to the public at 4pm.

While we do have an increased energy cost compared to last year, it is manageable and is covered by our income from tickets.

The last entry into the trail is at 8:30PM. After this, ticket-holders will not be permitted to enter.

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.

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 trees within the park have age related defects that have been considered and where required management specifications recommended to ensure the greatest level of safety for the event yet retain the important tree collection to its fullest.

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.

Yes, NEW for this year – our food & beverage hub will be accessible from the beginning and end of our trail. There is food and drink also available throughout the trail, so come hungry! From snacks to a full 3-course meal, we’ve got you covered. There are a number of bars serving winter warmers including mulled wine and hot chocolate. Our marshmallow stand sells marshmallows to toast over our flaming BBQs. This year, there will be a huge selection of street food traders ready to feed the whole family, from Hot Dogs to Indian, Churros to Brownies and Burgers to Pizza, there is something for everyone. Check out our 2022 food & drink section on our website for more information.  All food & drink traders take card payments only, the event is fully cashless.

Our quieter sessions will take place on Thursday 7th December (4:15pm, 4:30pm, 4:45pm & 5pm slots) and Friday 15th December (4:15pm, 4:30pm, 4:45pm & 5pm slots). These sessions are for those with additional needs, who will benefit from a quieter and softer experience, with reduced crowds.

The trail is 1 mile long in length and will take approximately 60 minutes to walk around. We will allow camping chairs/small folding chairs to be brought into the trail, if you need to sit down during the trail route.

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 throughout our hire period. 

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.

An evening-only cycle and “active travel” diversion is in place whilst the trail is in operation. 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. In daylight hours, when the park is open as normal we advise the usual path is used for people’s convenience.

The pathways throughout the light trail will be accessible to wheelchair users. Please be aware that some areas may have some uneven flooring as we are on a public park site. Accessible, disabled toilets will also be available on site.

For as long as you like! The Trail and associated catering outlets will close no later than 90 minutes after the final advertised trail time on any given event night.