Join London’s biggest street party as the Notting Hill Carnival fills the streets of West London with Caribbean colours, music and flavours.
Elaborate floats and colourful costumed performers wind their way through the streets to the sound of steel bands and calypso music. Watch the carnival parade, join in the fun and visit the tempting food stalls at one of London's biggest and best annual events.
If you're new to the carnival, take a look at our 10 Tips for Notting Hill Carnival to find out how to make the most of your day.
When is Notting Hill Carnival?
Notting Hill Carnival takes place every year on the Sunday and Monday of the UK summer bank holiday weekend, which is the last weekend in August.
This year, the carnival takes place on 28 and 29 August. Take a look at the 2016 carnival programme below to see what time the festival starts and what's on each day.
Notting Hill Carnival 2016 Programme
Sunday 28 August:
Jouvert (6am to 9am)
Start the day early with the traditional Caribbean carnival opening, Jouvert (from the French “jour ouvert”, meaning day break). Don your finest carnival outfit or fancy dress, follow the procession which starts and ends at Canal Way, Ladbroke Grove, and dance along the streets of Notting Hill.
Sunday Parade: Family Day (10am to 8.30pm)
Bring the whole family to watch the Notting Hill Carnival performers show off their elaborate costumes in the Children's Parade, as they dance and swirl through the streets. Visit the World Music Stage at Powis Square and catch beautiful calypso and soca performances, as well as many other genres of music. Enjoy delicious Caribbean food and drink from the many street food stalls, as you wander along the parade route and discover its many sound systems, playing different musical styles with amazing stage shows.
Monday 29 August:
Monday Parade: Grand Finale (10am to 8.30pm)
See 60 colourful groups as they dance to the sounds of steel bands and mobile sound systems during the Grand Finale of the Notting Hill Carnival. Discover music and performances on the 38 static sound systems along the route and in side streets, and finish at Powis Square, where the World Music Stage’s calypso and soca artists are sure to make you move. Delicious food and drinks are available from the many food stalls in the area.
Where does the Carnival Take Place?
The carnival takes place on the streets of London W10 and W11, around Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove, Westbourne Grove, Westbourne Park and Kensal Road. Take a look at the map of the carnival route.
How to Get to Notting Hill Carnival?
With many road closures taking place during the festival, 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 will be closed or subject to disruption. Underground and Overground stations near the carnival area with no planned closures include High Street Kensington, Holland Park, Queen’s Park, Shepherd’s Bush, Paddington, Bayswater and Kensal Rise. Extra buses will be put on during the carnival weekend, but buses will be diverted away from the carnival route.
Check the Transport for London website before you travel for the latest Notting Hill Carnival transport information, as well as a map of stations and bus stops near the carnival route.
What is Notting Hill Carnival?
The Notting Hill Carnival was first held in 1964 as an offshoot of the Trinidad Carnival, celebrating Caribbean culture and traditions in London.
When the Notting Hill Carnival first started, around 500 people attended the Caribbean festival. The carnival has since become the largest street festival in Europe, attracting hundreds of thousands to London, and continues to grow in popularity. Expect to see some 50,000 performers in the parade and more than 30 sound systems, with more than 1 million people attending over the carnival weekend.