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Notting Hill Carnival Free

Notting Hill Carnival 2017. Image courtesy of Carnival Village Trust. Photo credits: Tara Hobson.
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, including how to make the most of your day and what to wear to Notting Hill Carnival.

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. The Notting Hill Carnival 2019 dates are 25 and 26 August, with more celebrations on the eve of the carnival on 24 August

Take a look at the programme below to see what time the festival starts and what's on each day.

Notting Hill Carnival 2019 programme

Panorama: Saturday 24 August

The festival kicks off on the Saturday evening with the UK’s biggest steel band music competition, the Panorama – and more Caribbean-themed outdoor entertainment for all the family. Book tickets in advance for £10 (£3 for children; free for under-5s). The event takes place between 6pm and 11pm at Emslie Horniman Pleasance Park (Bosworth Road, W10 5EG).

J’ouvert and Notting Hill Carnival Family Day: Sunday 25 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 coloured powder between 6am and 9am. The procession starts and ends at Canal Way (Ladbroke Grove W14).

Family Day (Sunday Parade) takes over from 10am, continuing well into the evening. See young performers dancing and swirling through the streets, showing off their elaborate costumes in the Children’s Parade. Enjoy performances at the live stages and make sure to visit some of the static sound systems, delicious food stalls, and Emslie Horniman Pleasance Park for family workshops.

Notting Hill Carnival Grand Finale: Monday 26 August

See colourful dancers, performers and steel bands, as they fill the streets of Notting Hill for the Grand Finale (Monday Parade) from 12pm. Tuck into delicious food and drinks from the many food stalls in the area, and enjoy even more music at more than 30 static sound systems along the route and on the main stages.

What’s the Notting Hill Carnival 2019 line-up?

The Notting Hill Carnival line-up is not usually announced until the start of the carnival, but you’ll find plenty of music and entertainment throughout the weekend. The Horniman’s Stage and Powis Square Stage host top acts; while the Meanwhile Garden Stage puts on entertainment for children.

During the parade, you’ll find many colourful mas bands (short for masquerade bands), featuring dancers, musicians and music inspired by African tradition. You can also dance to a samba beat, with a number of Brazilian bands joining the carnival each year.

Let your hair down and dance away to everything from reggae, dancehall and hip hop at more than 30 Notting Hill Carnival sound systems dotted around the route.

Check the Notting Hill Carnival website for the full line-up.

Where is Notting Hill Carnival?

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.

What’s the Notting Hill Carnival 2019 route?

The Notting Hill Carnival route remains the same in 2019 as in previous years. Check the official website for full details and to download the official app, which features a Notting Hill Carnival map.

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 and discover where to stay near the celebrations. 

Download the Visit London app for more information on Notting Hill Carnival, and to make the most of your time in London.


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