Orchard Lawn

First published 29th Mar, 2021

Orchard Lawn is in the centre of Bute Park.  The site is adjacent to the Bute Park Visitor Centre. The event area is a flat grassed area bordered by trees to the south and the nursery bricked wall to the north. The event space can be used for:

– Charity walks / runs
– Private or corporate parties
– Community / family events with limited infrastructure

LocationGoogle Map
Size2,775 sqm
Event Use– Charity walks / runs
– Private or corporate parties
– Community / family events with limited infrastructure
Premises LicenceCovered by the Bute Park Premises Licence
Hire FeeHire Fee
On-site power supplyYes
1 x 13Amp external plug
On-site water supplyNone
ToiletsYes – 2 female, 1 x disabled & baby change and 2 x male toilets are available for general public use inside the Secret Garden Café courtyard and Visitor Centre.

However, if use by your event goers is likely to disrupt and exceed normal levels of public use (up to 60 uses per toilet per day), then additional toilets must be provided.

The toilets are not on mains drainage, instead all waste water is treated on-site in an underground treatment tank, and therefore it is critical these usage levels are not exceeded.
Phone/ISDN linesNone
Data ConnectionData Connection Public Wi-Fi is available at the Visitor Centre and Secret Garden Café.

Other Considerations

Booking of the Visitor Centre itselfYou may wish to make use of the Visitor Centre building itself in relation to your event.

The centre is available for hire direct from the Bute Park team.

Conflicts with other city centre events/venues

Before completing your event application, we would recommend that you as Event Organiser research key events in the city which may have an impact on your event.

Large city events could affect availability of and access to your preferred venue. Events in Cardiff Castle, Principality Stadium, Sophia Gardens Cardiff (Cricket Stadium) and Cardiff City FC will particularly affect Coopers Field and Sophia Gardens.

The Visit Cardiff website has a search facility which you can find out all indoor and outdoor events which are scheduled on a specific date.

If your event is likely to generate significant crowds, noise or disruption it would also be courteous for you to notify adjacent venue and local residents including the and newly developed offices and residences on Cathedral Rd.

National Express at Sophia Gardens
Pettigrew Tea Room
Principality Stadium
Royal Welsh of College of Music and Drama (RWCMD)
Sophia Gardens Cardiff, Cricket Stadium
Sport Wales

Access to site

Pedestrian AccessThe closest park entrances to this site are:
• Millennium Bridge (from Sophia Gardens)
• Fisher’s Bridge (from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama)
• Vehicle access bridge (from Corbett Rd), though pedestrians must be aware this latter entrance is a vehicle delivery/service
entrance so must be used with extra care.
• Vehicle access into the site is via the vehicle bridge off North Rd, located opposite Corbett Rd. The vehicle bridge has a weight limit of 40 tonnes.
• The vehicle bridge narrows to a single lane as it crosses the Dock Feeder Canal so traffic entering and exiting must be carefully managed, making use of passing bays along the main event service road to the south.
• The vehicle bridge has an automatic bollard in operation to prevent unauthorised entry of vehicles in to Bute Park. You may therefore need to request loan of a set of ‘swipe cards’ so you can manage traffic in relation to your event. This request can be included on your application form. Please see for guidance on safe use of the bollard control system.
There is a strict one way vehicle route from the Bute Park vehicle access bridge to the Orchard Lawn.
• On arrival at the Secret Garden Café, vehicles must keep to the hard-surface paths.
• All unloading on to grassed areas must be done by hand so as not to damage the ground.
• Only light vehicles less than 3.5 tonne in weight (small truck/small van/car) can drive onto the pathway running along the front of the garden wall. The construction is not suitable for heavier vehicles.
• No vehicles are permitted on the paved area around the picnic benches to prevent cracking of the paving slabs.
• Once unloaded, vehicles must carefully manoeuvre back along the Orchard Lawn path and drive out the same way they came in. There is strictly no through route back towards the vehicle bridge along the front of the garden wall.
Nearest Event
Organiser and Visitor
• Bute Park operates a strict “essential operational vehicles only” policy. Once vehicles have served their purpose they are to be removed from site or parked only in designated areas.
• Non-essential operational vehicles are not permitted to enter the park at any time and no general parking is permitted on site.
• There are up to 3 vehicle spaces in a layby along the path behind the Nursery compound. These can be made available for use by event organisers by arrangement.
• A small reinforced grass area adjacent to the cycle stands outside the garden wall is available strictly for disabled use only (blue badges must be displayed).
• Exhibitor and further staff parking should be directed to adjacent pay and display car parks at Sophia Gardens (west of Bute Park) or along North Road (east of Bute Park).

Advice for risk assessment and CDM planning

  • There is an automatic bollard control system at the Bute Park Vehicle Access Bridge. A guidance note is available on its safe operation.
  • There is a 5 mph vehicle speed limit within the park.
  • Vehicles cannot make a right hand turn into or out of the park at the vehicle bridge.
  • A designated cycle route crosses the vehicle access bridge at the entrance to the park – this impacts on vehicle right-of-way when entering and exiting the park. Event organisers should consider the benefit of additional traffic management staff to support vehicles entering and exiting the park across the designated cycle route.
  • The park can be busy. It is used by pedestrians, cyclists and other operational vehicles. These may share paths and roads with my event audience and vehicles.
  • Some cyclists are known to exceed the speed limit and can be a hazard to event traffic.
  • In wet weather the ground can get very soft and water may stand on the surface of roads and grass.
  • The park is locked at night (approx. 30 minutes before sunset) though people are known to choose to get locked in or come in after locking via unofficial routes.
  • There is the potential for crime and anti-social behaviour as may be expected in any city-centre park.
  • The park is unlit and very dark after sunset.
  • The wider park outside the event site is patrolled by a ranger service within daylight hours. They wear a red uniform and are based out of the Visitor Centre Building located in the centre of the park. The rangers work to a rota system but there are times when there are no rangers on duty.
  • If you need to contact a ranger, the call should go via the Park Manager in the first instance.
  • Crimes, emergencies or incidents witnessed in the wider park by event staff should be called directly to 999, 101 (non-emergency police number) or the Park Management office 02920 873720 depending on their nature.
  • You must notify and seek permission from the Park Management office to break any ground.
  • There are welfare facilities at the Secret Garden Café and Visitor Centre. As outlined above the number of uses per day is limited. Check opening
    hours in advance.
All event guidance