One of the great city parks of the world, Bute Park is a favoured haunt of both locals and visitors alike. First landscaped in the 18th Century by legendary garden designer Capability Brown, this 130 acre park is known as the ‘Green Heart’ of Cardiff and offers a leafy habitat for exercise, picnics and recreation, not to mention a wealth of seasonal attractions.
The tree collection here alone is broad enough to be considered nationally significant, while other popular attractions include the Animal Wall (topped with bears, seals and lions), the Gorsedd Standing Stones representing the country’s Druidic heritage and the picturesque Mill Leat castle moat. The park also contains history in the form of Blackfriars Friary, one of only two friaries established by the Dominican religious order in Wales. In 2011, the Lottery-funded Bute Park Restoration Project added an education centre to the parks amenities featuring a grass roof, solar panels and timber-clad facade.
In addition to the ancient trees, Bute Park is a haven for all forms of wildlife. Within its verdant confines visitors may spot salmon, herons, otters and three species of woodpecker. The cafe offers meals and snacks, focussed on local and fair trade produce, while the dog-friendly summerhouse offers free WiFi to visitors who wish to soak up the tranquillity while checking their emails at the same time. Throughout the summer, numerous seasonal events, such as the RHS Flower Show, pull visitors into the park.