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Notting Hill Carnival Free

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Notting Hill Carnival. © Jon Spaull/Britain On View
The streets of west London come alive every August bank holiday weekend with a huge Caribbean party at Europe's biggest street festival. Read More


Join London’s biggest street party as the Notting Hill Carnival fills the streets of west London with Caribbean colours, music and flavours.

Watch elaborate floats and colourful costumed performers wind their way through the streets in the carnival parade, dance to the sound of steel bands and calypso music, and visit the tempting food stalls along the route.

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 happens every year on the last weekend of August, including the summer bank holiday (public holiday) Monday.

In 2018, the carnival takes place on 25, 26 and 27 August. Take a look at the programme below to see what time the festival starts and what's on each day.

Notting Hill Carnival 2018 programme

Panorama – Saturday 25 August

The festival kicks off on Saturday evening with a steel band music competition, Caribbean-themed outdoor entertainment and street food during Panorama. The event costs £5 and takes place between 6pm and 10pm at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance park (Bosworth Road W10).

J’Ouvert and Children’s Day – Sunday 26 August

Get up early on the Sunday morning to experience the traditional Caribbean carnival opening J’Ouvert. Join the parade or watch on as revellers march through the streets covered in mud and colourful paint between 6am and 9am. The procession starts and ends at Canal Way (Ladbroke Grove W10).

Children's Day (Sunday Parade) takes over during the day and evening. See young performers dancing and swirling through the streets to show off their elaborate costumes in the Children’s Day Parade; hear live music at dedicated stages in Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance park and Powis Square, and make sure to enjoy the static sound systems, delicious food stalls and family activities.

Grand Finale – Monday 27 August

See colourful dancers, performers, steel bands and mobile sound systems fill the streets of Notting Hill for the Grand Finale (Monday Parade). Plus, tuck into delicious treats from the many food stalls in the area, and enjoy even more entertainment at the static sound systems along the route and live music stages in Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance park and Powis Square.

Where does the carnival take place?

The carnival takes place on the streets of London W10 and W11, usually around Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove, Westbourne Grove, Westbourne Park and Kensal Road.

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. 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.

What is Notting Hill Carnival?

The Notting Hill Carnival was first held in 1966 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 one million people attending over the carnival weekend.

After the carnival, make your way to one of London's top clubs to continue the party or refuel at a Caribbean restaurant. Plus, find more things to do in London's Notting Hill.


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