The streets of West London come alive every August Bank Holiday weekend as London celebrates Europe's biggest street festival – the Notting Hill Carnival.
With a Caribbean theme that sees West London packed with steel bands, Calypso music and tempting food stalls, the Notting Hill Carnival is a huge party. And everyone is invited!
Expect a sea of colour as amazing floats and costumed performers wind their way through the streets of London. Whether you want to join in the fun or simply watch the crowds go by, don't miss the chance to be part of one of London's biggest and best annual events.
The History of Notting Hill Carnival in London
First held in 1964 as an offshoot of the Trinidad Carnival, the Notting Hill Carnival has remained true to its Caribbean roots, bringing a spirit of diversity to London.
When the Notting Hill Carnival first started, around 500 people attended the Caribbean festival. Today it attracts hundreds of thousands to London, and continues to grow in popularity. You can expect to see some 50,000 performers more than 30 sound systems. More than 1 million people attend over the Carnival weekend.
Notting Hill Carnival Dates and Times
The Carnival weekend kicks off with the free National Panorama Competition, which sees steel bands gather to battle it out at Emslie Horniman Pleasance Park from 7pm on Saturday.
Sunday at The Notting Hill Carnival is Family Day. It kicks off with J’Ouvert, a fun opening with dance, drummers and steel bands from 6am until 9am; before the children’s day parade gets under way. It's also the day costume prizes are awarded.
Bank Holiday Monday sees the main parade. In the evening, the floats leave the streets in procession and people continue the festivities at the many Notting Hill Carnival after-parties.
Notting Hill Carnival Route
Taking in much of Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove, the floats, dancers and performers travel along the Notting Hill Carnival route, which winds its way through pretty streets lined with revellers. Within the area bound by the route you’ll find plenty of sound systems, street food stalls and bars to enjoy.
Travel to Notting Hill Carnival
London public transport is the best way to travel to the Notting Hill Carnival.
Allow extra time for your journey as a number of local Tube stations are closed or are subject to disruption. Ladbroke Grove station will be closed on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday; while Latimer Road, Notting Hill Gate, Royal Oak and Westbourne Park stations will face some disruption.
Extra buses will be put on during the carnival weekend, including additional night buses. Buses will be diverted away from the carnival area from the first bus on Sunday to around 3am on Tuesday.