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Notting Hill Carnival guide

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

© David Tett

Europe’s biggest street festival, Notting Hill Carnival is a vivid spectacle representing London's multicultural past and present. This August bank holiday, don’t go anywhere without reading our guide, which includes invaluable Carnival information, route details and tips on having fun and staying safe. And for all the key info you need for the big day, take a look below.

When is Notting Hill Carnival?
Carnival takes places on Sun Aug 30-Mon Aug 31 2015

Where does Notting Hill Carnival take place?
The Carnival celebrations take over the streets of W10, west London. The nearest tube stations are Notting Hill Gate, Holland Park and Ladbroke Grove.

What is Notting Hill Carnival?
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.

Want more of London's best things to do? Try the capital's top attractions. Or see what else is on with our August events guide.

Notting Hill Carnival music

Notting Hill Carnival soundsystems

Fancy a detour from the kaleidoscopic parade floats and trucks of Europe's biggest street party? Plan your party route with the Time Out Notting Hill Carnival soundsystem A-Z

Read more

Carnival after parties

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

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Notting Hill Carnival travel

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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Travel information

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

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Notting Hill Carnival kids & safety

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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Safety and security

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

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Read more about Notting Hill Carnival

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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Music

The Heatwave's top Carnival tunes

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Comments

15 comments
Serigne T
Serigne T

I wont to come but I don't know how to get their

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