Two million people will be flocking towards west London this upcoming Bank Holiday weekend for Notting Hill Carnival.
The Carnival celebrated Caribbean culture with calypso music, steel bands, delicious food, rum, street parties and of course the stunning parade. The event has become one of the most significant events of the summer.
Sunday is the more chilled-out family day where children are most welcome to attend and enjoy the parade whilst Bank Holiday Monday is the bigger day for partying. So whether you are a regular attendant or doing carnival for the first time – we have compiled all the useful info you need to make sure you have a brilliant time.
When is Notting Hill Carnival?
Notting Hill Carnival takes place during the August Bank Holiday and this year (2019) the festivities begin bright and early at 6am on Sunday August 25 and end at 10pm on Monday August 26. The static sound systems must be switched off by 7pm because of the noise curfew, and the streets cleared by parade floats by 8pm – but there are lots of ongoing street parties, after-parties and lots more fun to be had (should you – and your kids – be a party animal!)
Where does Notting Hill Carnival take place?
Obviously in Notting Hill! The 3.5 mile route has remained the same for a number of years starting on Great Western Road, heading south past Westbourne Park. The parade then takes a right down Westbourne Grove, down through Ladbroke Gardens, before turning north up Ladbroke Grove. The parade then comes to a close at the top end of Ladbroke Grove, close to Kensal Green Cemetery.
A full parade map (as well as artists and loads more useful info) can be found on the official Notting Hill Carnival app.
Programme and schedule
The app has all the info for the programme but on Saturday evening, before the Carnival officially starts, Londoners and visitors can enjoy the UK’s biggest steel band music competition, the Panorama. The event is taking place between 6pm and 11pm at Emslie Horniman Pleasance Park. Tickets are £10 for adults and can be purchased here.
Sunday is family day, with loads of child-friendly activities taking place. Things kick off with J’ouvert – a traditional Caribbean carnival opening event, which sees participants walk through the streets covered in colour pigment and mud. The event takes place between 6am and 9am. Sunday’s opening parade then takes place from 10.30am. Young performers will take the street for the Children’s Parade later on, with family workshops taking place at Emslie Horniman Pleasance Park.
The park is also the place to find the Red Bull Sound System, which will feature the likes of Yxng Bane and Sneakbo as headliners.
The Notting Hill Grand Finale Parade takes place from midday on Monday and is the biggest celebration of the weekend with whopping 37 sound systems placed around the parade route, entertaining crowds with reggae, calypso and dub DJ sets.
Silence for Grenfell
Organisers of the festival are marking two years since the Grenfell Tower tragedy by beginning 72 seconds of silence at 3pm on both days –remembering the lives of the 72 victims.
Whats the best way to travel to Notting Hill Carnival?
Avoid driving at all costs. Loads of streets are closed meaning that the best way to travel is by train/tube. The nearest tube stations to Notting Hill Carnival which won’t be affected by closures and disruption are High Street Kensington, Queen’s Park and Shepherd’s Bush. Bayswater and Paddington will also be open as usual. Bear in mind when travelling home that some of the stations will be very crowded and may be exit-only.
How much is Notting Hill Carnival to attend?
The event is absolutely free!