Notting Hill Carnival guide

Dancing, music and masquerade – join in the fun this August bank holiday weekend

© David Tett

Europe’s biggest street festival, Notting Hill Carnival (Sun Aug 30–Mon Aug 31) is a vivid spectacle representing London's multicultural past and present. Since 1964 the capital's Caribbean communities have celebrated their culture and traditions at this two-day festival of fantastic live music, which ranges from reggae to dub to salsa. The celebrations also include soca floats, steel bands and a whole lot of jerk chicken and fried plantain.

This August bank holiday, don’t go anywhere without reading our guide to Notting Hill Carnival, which includes our invaluable Carnival information guideroute details and tips on having fun and staying safe.

Essential Carnival information

Things to do

Map of the parade and procession

The procession route, soundsystems and toilets – here are your main stopping points at this year's Carnival

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Things to do

Travel information

Whether you're travelling by bus, tube or on foot, get the latest transport information here

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Things to do

Family day

Family day at Notting Hill Carnival is great fun for the kids. Here's all you need to know

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Things to do

Safety and security

Check out our advice on hydration, valuables and moving through the crowd at this year's carnival

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See this year's Carnival information

Read more about Notting Hill Carnival

Clubs

Carnival after parties

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Music

50 great Carnival facts

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Music

Top tips from Carnival experts

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Music

Top 10 Carnival anthems

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Comments

14 comments
bookmusic d
bookmusic d

Your post is very nice to read and very informative. I love to here music and musical fest. Recently I had enjoyed the musical fest of http://www.bookmusic.dk. It has mind blowing and rocking performance. They had a very good band artist, light effect, sound system, stage lighting.

jack j
jack j

In your blog post you have given new information for me and help me to know about new thing. I was unknown to Notting Hill Carnival, but now I decided to go to join this festival after my tour by http://www.getbustours.com/newyeareve-tours/. I hope it will be a nice experience for me.

Robert A
Robert A

hoping for  a good family day out at carnival just have to miss the gran prix or watch highlights

Mena B
Mena B

I agree who ever did their research shame on you.

Mena B
Mena B

You know the sad thing, not a lot of people of Caribbean descent know what the true meaning of Carnival is at all. SMH just like the researcher.

Alan R
Alan R

Why do you put Reggae music as the main music of carnival. Please do your research and stop misleading people/readers, of course Raggae has a role but the main music for carnival floats costume bands is not reggae!

Lynda J
Lynda J

In order for The carnival to grow and be spectacular the Mas Bands (floats) need support by ordinary people participating very few bands receive funding from the arts council, if you would like to support a band that does not receive funding you can ask when you contact them if they do, did you know in Holland the local authority pays for the trucks for the bands on the road because they acknowledge the contribution the carnival makes to the country by the way of tourism and revenue! in London we get nothing, but generate millions (in excess of 100 Million) for London   don't forget you can make the show! so spread the love and support Europe's Largest street festival, remember without floats and costumes there is no carnival!

Lynda J
Lynda J

also have a read of the insiders view on this site.

diane
diane

we went to the carnival on Monday, full or excitement and expectation of a wonderful and colourful day. instead we got glimpses of several trucks with nothing happening on them and a few people in front or behind them who looked like spare stand ins. the loud music was good plenty of people just going to party and drink which is good but as for the carnival, which is supposed to be what its all about was a let down. the day seemed to be about girls just shaking booty every two minutes with not much effort on costume and every one just their to walk about getting drunk not really taking much interest in the passing empty lorries grinding with odd booty shaker and waiting to just have more drink and dance at the after party's. one big street pub and restaurant and not much else!! at least the music and traditional curry goat made up for it.

Technicolor
Technicolor

Best carnival ever. Amazing parade, wonderful music. Absolutely delicious yummy food. Beautiful people, and the best soundsystems. A total blessing

bigsands
bigsands

Yep! This is one of the best events in London each year and it all starts with the steel band competition on Kensal Road this Saturday evening. You can hear the vibrant sounds of bands with over 50 players and feel the energy and rhythm of real Caribbean steel bands. For more on steel band music and parties, follow on Twitter/bigsands