FAQs

What does the event entail?

Our award-winning light trail will be returning to the magnificent Bute Park in Cardiff this winter. Experience brand new, jaw-dropping illuminations, along an accessible route around the historic grounds near Cardiff Castle. Enjoy comforting pit stops along the way, with a selection of mouth watering food from local traders and festive drinks at the bars in the Christmas Village.

Are there food & drink stalls?

Yes, there are a large variety of local street food vendors and bars to choose from on your visit. Check out XMAS VILLAGE for further information!

All food & drink traders take card payments only, the event is fully cashless.

Where is the event?

In the shadow of the historic Cardiff Castle is Bute Park, the heart of the city centre just paces away from our entrance. Based between the River Taff, North Road and Cardiff Castle, is our wonderful Bute Park. 

Please use postcode CF10 3ET to navigate towards the entrance on North Road just opposite the Cardiff Crown Court and Boulevard De Nantes. Follow the path along the side of Cardiff Castle wall to find our Box Office and event entrance. Don’t worry if you get lost – we will have plenty of signage and stewards to guide you. 

Please note there is no parking at the location and the last entry is at 20:30.

What to bring and wear?

It wouldn’t be winter in Cardiff without a bit of adverse weather. Please ensure you dress appropriately for the weather – wear waterproof, warm clothing and appropriate footwear for paths that may become muddy. 

If you struggle in low lighting you may bring a torch, as some parts between installations may be slightly darker. 

There is no need to bring food or drink, as we have a fantastic Christmas Village full of yummy treats.

Do I need cash?

No – we are an entirely cashless event, accepting all major debit and credit cards alongside contactless payments including Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Can I buy ticket on the door?

We will only have tickets available to buy on the door if the session is not already sold out. We advise all customers to buy tickets in advance, they will be released in summer time ahead of our 2024 Christmas festivities.

Can I work or volunteer with you?

Job applications are not yet open for this year. Please check back later in the year when we will advertise how to get in touch.

Is there baby changing available?

Yes, we have baby changing facilities on site!

Are tickets non-refundable?

Tickets are non-refundable, so please ensure you choose the correct ticket type before booking. If you would like to exchange your ticket to a different date then please log into the SEE Tickets Portal using your reference number and postcode / email address.

Are dogs allowed?

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.

Noise and trail audio

Christmas at Bute Park will contain 12-14 installations with accompanying music, specially composed for the event. Our compositions will be ambient, and played through speaker systems positioned to limit disturbance to our neighbours. 

While the audio is an essential part of the trail experience, we will make every effort to minimise nuisance and will ensure all trail audio is switched off between 21:30-22:00 each night. 

Christmas at Bute Park will comply with all UK legislation and operate within the terms set out in its licence. 

Are there flashing lights?

The trail includes pulsing, flashing, and moving lighting effects that may affect people with photosensitive epilepsy.

Walking to us?

We are a short stroll from Cardiff city centre. Please head towards the Crown Court and use the underpass underneath North Road to access the event on foot. 

Arriving by bus?

There are a number of stops just near our entrance – with Law Courts Stop and Kingsway Stop on North Road being the closest. To find out more about what buses you can use to get to us, please use the Cardiff Bus Services website.

Arriving by train?

We have 3 train stations within 1 mile of the Bute Park:

  • Cardiff Central – 0.7 miles, 15 minute walk (National Services)
  • Cardiff Queen Street – 0.6 miles, 15 minute walk (Transport for Wales)
  • Cathays Station – 0.6 miles, 15 minute walk (Transport for Wales)

Distances are measured to the entrance of the event, please factor this and queue times into your visit. 

Local taxi information

Here are some local taxi numbers, should you need a lift to and from Bute Park:

  • Veezu – 029 2055 555
  • Taxi2Cardiff – 029 2128 2263
  • Cabra Cabs Cardiff – 028 2199 0210

Travel and weather

With our event being an outdoor event, in winter, in Wales, it is expected that we will see some rough weather at some point in the duration of our event. We ask that you factor this into your travel time when attending the event, it may take slightly longer to get to us than initially expected.

How do I get a carer/personal assistant ticket?

We are pleased to provide an additional ticket/s for Personal Assistants of disabled people who are unable to attend the event without the assistance of an essential companion. A disabled person purchasing a ticket can obtain 1 free Personal Assistant ticket (all tickets must be pre-booked through our ticketing site).

To add a Personal Assistant ticket onto your booking, please select your required date and time, select your paying tickets and 1x Personal Assistant ticket. Upon payment of your tickets, you will be asked to provide proof of this on the payment page of the booking, please have a screenshot or photograph of the documentation to hand when booking as to ensure you are able to upload proof easily. 

You are able to choose one free companion ticket, when you purchase a paid adult or child ticket for the disabled person. If you require more than one carer ticket – please contact hello@christmasatbutepark.com for further information.

To help us ensure that these tickets are made available to those with genuine needs, when purchasing tickets, please upload a photo of your ID of ONE of the following forms of documentation to validate the free carer pass, or alternatively bring your ID with you the light trail.

  1. Entitlement to Disability Living Allowance for children under 16 or DLA/Personal
  2. Independent Payments (PIP), either in the form of a letter stating that the benefit has been awarded, or the actual Allowance book
  3. Attendance Allowance or Carer’s Allowance letter of award
  4. Incapacity Benefit books, or a letter notifying the recipient that the benefit has been awarded Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  5. In the case of visual impairment, a registration card known as the BD8 or a Certificate of Visual Impairment (CVI)
  6. A local authority registration document which is local to the attraction where it is being submitted 
  7. A recognised Assistance Dog ID Card
  8. Credibility’s Access Card (plus 1 icon)
  9. Hynt card and/or Access card 

Fast-track access wristbands

Fast-track wristbands are available to people with additional needs, and their personal assistants. This will allow quicker access to the event and to purchasing food and drink without queuing. 

Fast Track Access: fast-track wristbands are available to people with additional needs, and their personal assistants (on a case-by-case basis). Please email hello@christmasatbutepark.com if you require fast track wristbands for you or people in your party, we will discuss your requirements with you and issue wristbands on a case-by-case basis.

To help us ensure that these passes are made available to those with genuine needs, when purchasing tickets, please include a copy of one of the following documents when enquiring into receiving fast track passes:

  1. Entitlement to Disability Living Allowance for children under 16 or DLA/Personal
  2. Independent Payments (PIP), either in the form of a letter stating that the benefit has been awarded, or the actual Allowance book
  3. Attendance Allowance or Carer’s Allowance letter of award
  4. Incapacity Benefit books, or a letter notifying the recipient that the benefit has been awarded Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  5. In the case of visual impairment, a registration card known as the BD8 or a Certificate of Visual Impairment (CVI)
  6. A local authority registration document which is local to the attraction where it is being submitted 
  7. A recognised Assistance Dog ID Card
  8. Credibility’s Access Card (plus 1 icon)
  9. Hynt card and/or Access card 
  10. Blue Badge

Wheelchair and Mobility Scooters

The trail ground consists of hard paths, ramps and some matted areas over grass. There are no steps anywhere in our trail. Although mostly level, there are some modest changes in height with inclines and descents. 

Please note: there are some areas of the trail that have become slightly muddy. While best endeavours have been made to maintain accessibility for wheelchairs and mobility scooters, these areas may be more difficult to traverse in manual wheelchairs. If you have any difficulty passing through, please alert the nearest steward, who will be happy to assist you.

If you require a wheelchair to get around the trail we will have a number of wheelchairs available from the Information Chalet, these are given out on a first-come-first-serve basis and cannot be booked ahead of time.

Assistance Dogs

We welcome assistance dogs onto the site. We ask all dog owners to keep their dog on a lead at all times, and also to pick up after themselves.

Assistance dogs are legally allowed to assist under the Equality Act. The Equality and Human Rights Commission states an expectation that Assistance Dogs will:

  • Be highly trained
  • Not wander freely around the premises
  • Most are instantly recognisable by the harness or identifying dog jacket that wear they wear

(https://www.assistancedogs.org.uk/the-law/)

How do I buy tickets?

We will be releasing tickets for our Christmas 2024 trails very soon! To be kept up to date with our news then sign up for our mailing list to access our latest announcements and pre-sale access. 

What ticket type do I need?

An adult aged 16 or older? You will need an Adult Ticket. 

A child aged 3-15? You will need a Child Ticket. 

A child aged 2 and under? You will need an Infant Ticket – these are free of charge but we need to know how many infants due to capacity rules. 

Have a few children and adults in your party? We offer discounted Family Tickets. You can use this ticket type for 2 adults and 2 children, OR 1 adult and 3 children. Family tickets are for a maximum of 2 adults.

Are you a carer? Please visit our accessibility page to find out more about claiming your free personal assistant ticket.

How are tickets sent out?

You will receive an email from SeeTickets upon purchase containing a PDF of your tickets, you can either bring these on your phone or print off your tickets at home. 

If you cannot immediately see your tickets in your inbox then please check your junk mail. 

If you have still not received your tickets then please visit the SeeTickets customer service portal.

Can I exchange tickets? 

Yes, you can change your ticket to a different date up to 24 hours prior to attending. To change your booking log into See Tickets using your reference number and postcode / email address and select the slot that suits you best.

What is the difference between standard and off-peak tickets?

Standard tickets are our standard entry, standard price tickets. 
Off-peak tickets are available at a lower ticket price, on a select number of dates. When purchasing your tickets, you will be able to select ‘standard’ or ‘off peak’ in the booking process.

Do you have any quieter sessions?

We are proud to host Neuro-inclusive evenings every year at our event. We reduce capacity by 60%, we lower volume levels of audio and allow the audience plenty of time to make their way around the trail. We also have plenty of stewards along the trial, should the need occur to leave the trail early.

We will announce dates for these evenings once we have announced our on-sale dates.

Do you offer Blue Light/NHS Discount?

We don’t offer Blue Light / NHS Discount at our event. In order to give back to the community we have partnered with a number of local charities, giving them tickets and helping raise funds. More information can be found about our charity partnerships here.

Where is the entrance?

The main entrance to our event will be from North Road, just opposite the Cardiff Crown Court and Boulevard De Nantes. Follow the path along the side of Cardiff Castle wall to find our Box Office and event entrance. Don’t worry if you get lost – we will have plenty of signage and stewards to guide you. 

POSTCODE: CF10 3EW

WHAT3WORDS for path entrance: noon.crops.rises

WHAT3WORDS for Box Office and Event Entrance: losses.long.begin

Will you cancel if there is extreme weather?

On rare occasions, we may have to cancel an event if weather conditions are so severe that they cause a threat to safety. In such cases, we will let customers know in advance of the closure. If there is extreme weather on the day of your booking, please check your emails for updates.  

Where is the nearest car park?

There is no on site parking at Bute Park, however there are a variety of car parking facilities nearby.  

Pay and display car parking facilities are available nearby in Castle Mews (CF10 3ER) and North Road (CF10 3EA), College Road, King Edward VII Avenue & Museum Avenue. 

Download the Park Cardiff app to help you find a place to park in Cardiff using live information from the Smart Parking sensor system that has been installed into parking spaces around the city. Links to download the Park Cardiff app and more details can be found here. Or you can visit Cardiff.gov for further details about parking by Bute Park.

How long can we stay on the light trail?

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.

How cost efficient is the light trail in terms of energy?

99% of the bulbs are LED with the remaining 1% being high efficiency low-energy lighting. 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.

Why are ticket prices higher this year?

Like other businesses, Christmas at Bute Park has seen a rise in costs, from energy prices rising to an increase in the costs of staff and infrastructure. We’re working really hard to try and minimise the effects of this on our customers.

While there has been a rise in some ticket prices, we’ve introduced Standard and Off Peak ticket times, available at the same price as our 2022 slots from Monday through to Wednesday each week. Our early bird discount scheme also means those signed up to our newsletter are able to buy tickets with a limited 20% discount included this year again too.

There is also more on offer than ever at Christmas at Bute Park this year. Our 2023 trail is longer, with more than 2km of festive fun and a brand-new lay out of installations for returning customers to enjoy too.

What impact does the event have on normal public access to the 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 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.

Will there be any new installations for 2024?

Yes, 80% of the light trail will be brand new installations.

Is the trail kind to the environment?

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.

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.

What is the last time of entry onto the trail?

Last entry into the trail is 15 minutes after the last advertised trail time. After this, ticket holders will not be permitted to enter.

What are the ground conditions like?

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. Please keep in mind however, that due to the event taking place in winter, in Wales, that the paths may contain puddles and muddy patches which may take a bit longer to get through.