Notting Hill Carnival information

Plan your day at Carnival now – here's all you need to know about travel, visiting with children and staying safe

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© David Tett


If you're heading to Notting Hill Carnival this year, be sure to check out our information guide. Crammed with everything you need to know about getting to the Carnival, advice on how to stay safe over the weekend, plus details on entertaining the kids at the event, our info guide is must-read before attending Carnival this year.

Carnival start times  |  Travel  |  Safety and security  |  Attending with children  |  Top Carnival tips

Carnival start times

The parade begins at 10am on both Sunday and Monday, and judging finishes at 6.30pm; floats and parade bands have to clear the streets by 8.30pm. Soundsystems play on both Sunday and Monday, with a strict noise curfew at 7pm. The main parade starts on Great Western Road, winding its way along Chepstow Road, then on to Westbourne Grove, and then down Ladbroke Grove.

See our Notting Hill Carnival map for the full parade route and soundsystem locations

Travel: tubes, buses and bikes

Journeys to and from the area around Notting Hill will be heavily restricted, so work out your best route by using the journey planner on www.tfl.gov.uk. Consider making an early or late entrance to avoid the crowds.

Tube: Notting Hill Gate will be exit-only between 11am and 7pm on Sunday and all day on Monday. Circle and District line trains will not stop here between 11am and 7pm on Monday. There will be no interchange between the District, Circle and Central lines all day on Monday. Ladbroke Grove will be closed on Sunday and Monday. Queensway will be exit-only between 11am and 7pm on Sunday and Monday. Royal Oak and Westbourne Park will be exit-only between 11am and 6pm, and closed from 11.30pm on Sunday and Monday. Bayswater and Paddington will be operating normally.

Stations may temporarily have to shut due to overcrowding, so be patient if you’re waiting to get on the tube or Overground. Other nearby stations are High Street Kensington, Holland Park, Queen’s Park, Kensal Rise and Shepherd’s Bush.

Bus: While extra services will be in operation, no buses will enter the Carnival area from first thing Sunday morning until the first service on Tuesday morning. On both Sunday and Monday, bus services begin from Notting Hill Gate in the south and from the Prince of Wales on Harrow Road (close to Elgin Avenue) in the north. Night buses in the area will also be subject to diversions.

Bike: Some local docking stations will be suspended or removed for Carnival, so don’t rely on space to dock your Boris bike.

Safety and security

Notting Hill Carnival has a relatively low crime rate for such a huge event, but given the crowds, Carnivalgoers are advised to be vigilant at all times.

Avoid carrying expensive items, such as jewellery and digital cameras. Try to avoid waving your iPhone around while taking selfies. Take a bag with a secure zip to hold your possessions, and avoid putting anything valuable in your back pocket.

Do tell police if you see an incident. Officers will be stationed throughout the area.

Children

Children’s Day on Sunday is recommended for families, with smaller crowds and kid-friendly floats. Arrange meeting points in case you become separated.The smaller the buggy, the better. Or ideally, use a baby sling if you’re able. Ear defenders may be necessary for very young Carnivalgoers.

Useful tips

The earlier you arrive, the less crowded it will be.

Wear comfy shoes and give flip-flops and open-toed footwear a miss, unless you want your feet to get crushed by the galumphing masses.

Set off with more than a muscle tee if you’re out for the duration, and bring plenty of money as cash machines tend to run dry early.

Don’t try to walk against the flow of the crowd – you won’t get far. Many of the big soundsystems become too crowded to get near by mid-afternoon, so plan your route ahead of time.

Plan your toilet stops to avoid queues, and bring your own loo roll and hand sanitiser if you’re so inclined. Drink plenty of water on the day, especially if the sun makes an appearance.

Phone signals at Carnival are notoriously patchy, so pre-arranged meeting points aren’t
a bad idea even for grown-ups.


Users say

8 comments
arron
arron

i live in portabella and its great to have some music festival however this is based on a very old celebration surely which the youngster may not be aware off. I am not sure it makes sence to blast different music at the same time? first of all it sounds like a mess and you loose the interest. secondly the beauty of listening to music or even appreciating it is impossible. Can anyone see the sense of the smell of nasty food being fried and smoke and people walking around like they are following a farmer. Im sorry but does not seem very organised and why cant they be held in a park why the streets of london?

Rachel
Rachel

I wasn't sure what to expect, when asking friends if they had been so many bad reviews, however still decided to go for it. I chose the Monday as didn't fancy being surrounded by children on the Sunday being as it is family day but in some ways think that would have been the better option. It was exceedingly busy as expected but almost got crushed in a mass of people contained on one side of the road whilst the pavement on the other side was empty, however the police wouldn't let anyone cross, even though they were concerned about the safety aspect. I am not sure I would go again.

gee
gee

saska, im sure when you moved in the area u know of the flipping carnival don't be a party poopa!! stay off the drugs!!!!!

W11tiredout
W11tiredout

After another day for my thirty seventh Carnival in a row, yet again avoiding pretending to have standing sex with a drunken stranger - sorry I mean dancing - I have just realised the reason I find carnival so boring. The loud yelling thunderous voices blasting through my flat from sound systems from all directions, are 100% male. Women's role in Carnival is to allow men to mime humping them from behind, while they stick out their bottoms and try to stay upright on the high heels they've walked ten miles in. Carnival nowadays is like being shouted at really loudly by mad sexist men who have all their friends along playing backing music. Loved the steel pans and months of build-up that was Mas in the Old Days. Now it's a horrible racket with no purpose. As if all the problem neighbours in the world have congregated to play crap music around my home.

Saska
Saska

I live along the route and I am fearful of the crowds in the evenings and the weird frenzy that I don't understand on Monday. Sad to be afraid of a carnival, but oh well. It would be nice if the council would offer hotel vouchers for the carnival so us "locals" don't interefere with someone's flipping Carnival. I just don't have the cash to get out of town, but would if I could. I'll just try to enjoy what I can if I'm STUCK here. Hope I don't get murdered?!?! Don't get me wrong, I hope everyone enjoys that can enjoy, but I'm somehow "not allowed".

John Rowlands.
John Rowlands.

After last year's riots? In 2012? Erm, where was that riot then? WRONG Timeout!!

paul blacknell
paul blacknell

please can you tell me what buses go from victoria to shepards bush that have been diverted please

mujic ohran
mujic ohran

hello i am ohran i want to sell helium ballons and bubble machines on 29th and 30th august and i want to pay for the two days to sell and i dont need the stall please call me on 07587529249 thanks

Our Notting Hill Carnival guide

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