Get ready for the biggest street festival in Europe as Notting Hill Carnival returns for another epic year of Caribbean culture, food, music and dance. Unleash your party spirit and watch as London bursts into colour during the August bank holiday parade.
Here’s everything you need to know to have a great carnival experience, including five top tips to help you plan ahead.
Book train tickets to London in advance and take the hassle out of travel on the day.
Did you know that the very first London Caribbean Carnival was held indoors at St Pancras Town Hall in January 1959? Notting Hill Carnival next launched onto the scene in 1966 as a traditional British fete. Since then, it has become one of the most iconic street festivals in Europe, with more than one million people set to attend over the course of the carnival weekend this year. Now, that’s a party!
Held on 25–26 August, Notting Hill Carnival will take over W10 in West London: primarily Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park.
The streets of Notting Hill will come alive with thumping music, incredible steel bands, vibrant outfits, spectacular parades and insane street food that’ll fill you up yet leave you hungry for more.
It’s totally free to attend, so with this in mind, prepare for huge crowds (we cannot stress the crowds enough – it will be busy). Sunday at the carnival is best known for being the ‘family day’; the main event being the children’s parade with lots of kid-inspired floats to get little ones excited; there will also be plenty of live music and Caribbean-inspired food.
For grown-ups, Monday is the main event, with all-day entertainment and the Notting Hill Grand Finale Parade to look forward to.
Many nearby stations will be closed or running restricted services due to congestion, here’s an overview of what’s what:
To make sure you have a fun and stress-free carnival experience, here are five top tips to keep in mind: