Guide to Notting Hill Carnival

Everything you need to know for making the most of London’s best-known street party, including loads of practical advice that won’t have you missing out on all the fun.

What is Notting Hill Carnival?

Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s biggest street party. It’s an annual event in London that’s taken place since 1966 on the streets of Notting Hill. It’s a beautifully-bright, colourful and vivid Caribbean festival that’s a must-see spectacle. Better still, it’s free to attend.

When does it kick off?

The carnival is taking place on the August bank holiday weekend – 26, 27, 28 August 2017.

How do I get there?

The carnival takes unfolds on the streets of London’s W10 and W11 areas, usually taking over Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove, Westbourne Grove, Westbourne Park and Kensal Road.

The best way to travel there is by London public transport but note that many of the tube stations nearest to the festival will be closed. Your best bet is to travel to areas on its outskirts, such as High Street Kensington, Holland Park, Queen’s Park and Shepherd’s Bush, and walk to the carnival from there.

What’s the plan?

The celebrations kick off on Saturday 26 August from 6pm with a free open-air evening of performances by national steel bands, as well as other entertainment. The event is called Panorama and is taking place at Emslie Horniman Pleasance Park.

The main carnival takes to the streets on both Sunday and Monday, with breathtaking floats, flamboyant costumes and upbeat bands setting off along the carnival route from 9am.

What should I expect?

Incredible music, a whole lot of dancing, delicious food and drink, colourful costumes and lots more. Although it will be an amazing experience, be aware that it will also be very busy all weekend, with big crowds and queues.

If I do one thing…

Wear comfortable shoes – you’ll likely be dancing for hours on end. Oh, and make sure you buy some of the delicious street food on offer, from jerk chicken and curry dishes to Jamaican patties and more. Delicious.

For further information about this year’s Notting Hill Carnival visit