Bute Park is without doubt one of the most beautiful sights in the city of Cardiff, a wonderful oasis in the middle of the bustling capital of Wales. Staying in a hotel in the centre of Cardiff will put you near to not only the park but many other city facilities and attractions.
The park was, at one time, part of the grounds of Cardiff Castle. It comprises 130 acres that were originally landscaped by the famous garden designer Capability Brown in the late 1700s. The park, as it is today with parkland and landscaped gardens, was redesigned, beginning in 1873, by Andrew Pettigrew. The park is named for the Bute family, who once lived in the castle, and in 1947 the park was gifted to the city council.
The park is bisected by the River Taff and part of the area is Sophia Gardens, the home playing ground of Glamorgan County Cricket Club. There are many different areas of interest in the park, with grassland filling the spaces between recreation areas, an arboretum, tree-lined avenues and floral gardens. In addition to the natural sights on offer, there are many sculptures, including figures carved from tree stumps from the park.
The park plays host to many events, including the Guy Fawkes’ night celebration, billed as Sparks in the Park, featuring a huge fireworks display. The display each year raises a considerable amount of money for local charities, and features not only pyrotechnics but live music and a wealth of other entertainments in an area that is the size of 75 football pitches. Throughout the year, there are many special events: cultural, educational and sporting. The park also has its own education centre, open every day, which provides seasonal events mainly for children, but often for the whole family.
When wandering around the beautiful park, with so many different forms of nature to be enjoyed, there are three different places to eat and drink in Bute Park. The Pettigrew Tea Rooms is a traditional-style café situated at the south end of the park, with views from the outside terrace overlooking the Taff. Customers can choose from a full lunch menu, high teas or from a selection of cakes baked on the premises. The Secret Garden Café is next to the Education Centre and boasts a delightful outdoor terrace, surrounded by lawns and climbing roses. It is the perfect place in the park for a snack. The Summerhouse Café is modelled on the original summerhouse in the original grounds of the park. Hot and cold drinks are available all year round, along with barbecue food and ice cream in the summer.
It would take a dedicated attempt to enjoy and appreciate everything Bute Park has to offer in one visit, so a short break in one of the many hotels in Cardiff, from budget to luxury, from boutique to grand, is the ideal way to stay in the heart of the city but to feel as though you were in the heart of the countryside.