Notting Hill Carnival


The Notting Hill Carnival is a solid fixture of the London Calendar, bringing vibrant costumes, dancing and music to the forefront in flamboyant celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture and this year is shaping up to be no exception. In honour of this, we have put together a guide to the Notting Hill carnival; the history and what you can expect to see this year.

What is the Notting Hill Carnival? 

The Notting Hill Carnival is an event that dates back to 1966, and takes place across the August bank holiday weekend; the procession moves through the streets of Notting Hill, traditionally starting at Emslie Horniman's Pleasance near the Westbourne Park tube station. The carnival is led by members of the West Indian community, with Caribbean music, dancing, food and wider culture all being represented. The carnival’s existence is viewed as a positive celebration of the multi-cultural diversity that defines London. 

What is happening? 

The main parade starts at 10 am on Sunday and Monday and festivities will continue until the 7 pm noise curfew. This will be the centre of the sights and sounds of the carnival, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg with carnival parties and street entertainment throughout Notting Hill. There will be 38 static sound systems across the area pumping out a whole variety of different sounds. Sunday is considered to be the gentler, more family-friendly of the days when compared with Monday.  However, for those that want to keep the party going, there are warm-up parties on Saturday and carnival after-parties on both Sunday and Monday at venues and parks across Notting Hill. 

How do I get there?

There will be some changes to public transport around the carnival: the Ladbroke Grove station will be closed altogether on Sunday and Monday. The Notting Hill Gate, Royal Oak and Westbourne Park stations will be exit-only after 11 am on Sunday and Monday. Likewise, buses will be operating differently as nothing will be entering the carnival area on Sunday or Monday. The Notting Hill Carnival is always a huge event and this year is looking like it’s going to live up to the reputation. If it tickles your fancy, be sure to head over – there’s nothing else quite like it!