Heard all about the Notting Hill Carnival and want the lowdown on this year’s event? We’ve got the line up and all the top tips for the best day out this bank holiday weekend. Whatever the weather, you’re definitely in for a good time at Notting Hill Carnival 2018.
What Is The Notting Hill Carnival?
It is one of the world’s largest street carnivals that celebrates Caribbean culture and has been going since 1966. An estimated two million people will hit the streets in Notting Hill, London to party, listen to Caribbean music, eat Caribbean food and have a good time. The parade is the major highlight where people dressed in bright carnival outfits dance through the streets in a procession. Speakers line the route too to share Caribbean history and traditions with carnival-goers.
The good news is that it’s completely free too!
Which Days Is It On This Year?
This year it is still running over three days over the bank holiday weekend – Saturday 25, Sunday 26 and Monday 27 August.
Saturday isn’t the main bit of the carnival, but this year a steel band music competition called Panorama, complete with street food and dancing will be held at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park from 6:00 to 10:00 pm. Tickets are £5 and can be bought here.
Which Day Should I Go On?
Traditionally, the Sunday is more of a family feel with kids and the Monday is known for being a bit more lively and boozy. So head down to whichever vibe best suits you or go to both!
When Is The Parade And When And Where Are All The Events Happening?
The events are held in varying locations over the W10 and W11 postcode.
For early risers, the Sunday kicks off with J’ouvert – an integral part of Caribbean celebrations – from 6am-9am with revellers taking to the streets covered in mud and paint.
For those less keen to rise at dawn, the main attraction on the Sunday is a kid’s parade. The children will perform in bright clothing and amazing costumes from 9am until the evening.
All day and late into the night, there will be an array of live music on stages at Powis Square and Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park – but the atmosphere everywhere in the area will be electric as sound systems will be big and dotted all over.
The Monday will involve even more dancing, street performances and music groups plus the Grand Finale parade in Notting Hill – the main event. It starts in Great Western Road, heads down Chepstow Road, then along Westbourne Grove, before finishing off in Canal Way in Ladbroke Grove. There will again be food, drinks and entertainment along the route.
Sound systems will turn off at 7.30pm because of a noise curfew, but there will be tons of after-parties in the area.
On Sunday and Monday there will also be a 72 second silence held in tribute to the Grenfell victims.
How Do I Get To The Carnival?
Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove and Latimer Road are closest but are often so busy they are exit only. It might be better to go to a nearby tube station. Check TFL to see what is and isn’t running and find out nearby stops. A bus is a good option as more bus routes are put on for the carnival, but streets directly in the carnival will be pedestrianised, so again you may have to walk some of the way. Night tubes will not run so do check how you’ll get home, too.
Top Tips For The Best Day Out at Notting Hill Carnival 2018
- Wear flats – a lot of walking and wandering is involved, it is not a day for stilettos.
- Attendees are encouraged to wear accessories to show support and love for the Notting Hill Carnival such as whistles, crazy hats, large jewellery and bright colours, but there is no dress code.
- Plan your travel. Bank holidays are less reliable travel-wise and there may be limited services.
- Take cash as most street vendors won’t take card.
- Don’t rely on mobile phone signal to meet anyone, if services are busy you won’t find each other. It’s also so jam-packed you’re unlikely to locate a friend anyway – meet up outside and away from the party.
- Download the app for information.
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