It’s Notting Hill Carnival next weekend – don’t miss this epic experience!
The Notting Hill Carnival is one of the most legendary highlights of London’s event calendar. In fact, it’s so huge that it takes over two days of the August Bank Holiday. This year, that means Sunday 25th and Monday 26th August. So, if you love music, carnival parades, Caribbean culture, sound systems and one massive party, this is the place you should be!
So, what is Notting Hill Carnival exactly?
The outdoor Carnival goes back to 1966, when a festival was organised in Notting Hill. It was popular with the local Caribbean community and has grown in popularity ever since. In fact, last year over 2 million people attended.
And although the modern carnival welcomes a diverse community, there’s still a strong celebration of Caribbean culture, tradition and music. It’s definitely one of the most exciting events of the year.
What can you see, and where?
First of all, don’t miss the phenomenal Parade. This starts at 10:30 on Sunday (the ‘Children’s Day’), and 10:00 on Monday (the ‘Adults’ Day’), on Great Western Road. It travels through Notting Hill and the Ladbroke Grove area of London. And of course, it’s an incredible spectacle, with amazing costumes, music and dancing. You’ll see Caribbean Mas bands alongside Brazilian bands, and steel pan bands as well.
Not only that, but there’s also plenty more for music-lovers. With more than 30 sound systems as well as live stages, there’s really something for everyone.
Lastly, don’t forget to bring your appetite! Because food stalls abound, with plenty of Caribbean specialities, like Jerk Chicken.
Sunday is obviously the better day to bring your kids to Carnival. It’s also usually a bit quieter, so more family-friendly.
First of all, the Carnival is pretty large in area. So, we recommend looking at a map in advance to get a sense of it, or downloading the special app, or the brochure from the official website. This gives you all the info – including a map of the event, and useful travel info.
If you want to see the Parade, get there early for a good spot, as we always recommend for these events. And, because it’s so busy, remember that tube stations in the area will be super crowded. In fact, some of them are exit only in the evening. So, check the London travel website, TfL, for information on the day.
And of course, like any big event in London, take good care of all your valuables.