Notting Hill Carnival

Dancing, music and masquerade – join the fun this August with our guide to all things Carnival 2014

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Europe’s biggest street festival, Notting Hill Carnival (Sunday August 24 - Monday August 25 2014) is a vivid spectacle representing London's multicultural past and present. Since 1964 the capital's Caribbean communities have celebrated their culture and traditions with a two-day festival of fantastic live music ranging from reggae to dub to salsa, soca floats, steel bands, uplifting beats, jerk chicken and fried plantain food stalls, and much more.

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.

Carnival start times

Following the parade of stunning dancers, musicians and brightly-colourled floats at Carnival.

Travel

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

Family day

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

Carnival after parties

Carnival's exotic outfits, banging music and strong Caribbean liquor are a perfect party combination

Read our essential Notting Hill Carnival information

Read more about Notting Hill Carnival

What's the deal with Panorama?

Here's everything you need to know about Notting Hill's annual steel band face-off

A spotter's guide to Carnival

There are some things you only see at Carnival. Keep your eyes peeled for this lot...

The Heatwave's top Carnival tunes

The legendary soundsystem crew pick the tracks you'll be dutty wining to this year

Top tips from Carnival experts

If Carnival seems a little overwhelming, here are some top tips from five regular Carnival-goers


See Notting Hill Carnival in pictures

  • © David Tett

  • © David Tett

  • © David Tett

  • © David Tett

  • © David Tett

  • © David Tett

  • © David Tett

  • © David Tett

  • © David Tett

  • © David Tett

  • © David Tett

  • © David Tett

  • © David Tett

  • © David Tett

  • © David Tett

  • © David Tett

  • © David Tett

© David Tett


African, reggae and world music in London

Find gigs and club nights in the capital channeling the sounds of Notting Hill Carnival all year round.

London's best record shops

Whether you're looking for drum 'n' bass twelve-inches, sonatas on CD or rock LPs, London has plenty of record shops that'll scratch your music-buying itch.

Find live music and festivals in the capital

Users say

12 comments
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