The Notting Hill Carnival is held on the August Bank Holiday every year and over the years it has grown into a world renowned Caribbean street festival. Every year, millions of people come to London for the Carnival and party over the weekend.The Carnival starts on Saturday and closes on Monday with Sunday being the children’s day which is supposed to mean less crowds, but only marginally so.
It is the weekend that the fashionable Nottinghillers move out and some even board up their doors and windows if they are close to the streets at the heart of the Carnival.
What to expect
- The parades
- Lots of Music
- Lots of people
- Great Caribbean food
Every day there are the colorful parades of local community and dance groups in their colourful costumes. Pick a good vantage point with a view to watch the parade or you could get crushed by the crowds trying to get into the heart of Notting Hill.
Music is the main feature of the Carnival. It used to be steel bands and sounds of the Caribbean but nowadays there are sound stages set up on certain streets with bands from a variety of genres including top selling international artists.
In the early days when this was just a neighbourhood festival, the local residents will set up stall outside their houses and sell home cooked Caribbean food which was fabulous. Nowadays, health and safety and all that, there are food stalls on many streets selling food so you won’t have any problems finding that jerk chicken or curry goat.
How to get there
The nearest tube stations are usually closed like Notting Hill Gate so your best bet to get there is to get to either Queensway, Bayswater or Holland Park stations and just follow the music.
There are massive crowds so if you go with a group, stick close together and pick a meeting point as you are sure to get lost sometime during the day.