August bank holiday weekend in London means one thing. (And it’s not sunburn or killer hangovers, although they do feature heavily.) The Sunday and Monday towards the end of the summer are the days when annual street festival Notting Hill Carnival takes over west London. Expect two days of incredible music, food and culture – and (like with any huge event) a bit of a mission to get out. Here are four exit strategies that will help you beat the crowds.
If you want to stay out in the area, head to Paradise by Way of Kensal Green. On Sunday night, ’90s hip hop party So Fresh So Clean takes over the ornate pub. On Monday, it’s the turn of Rinse FM.
For anyone heading back east on the Sunday, the neatest option is Kensal Rise Overground. Then you’re in the perfect place to hit up Supa Dupa Fly’s afterparty at Trapeze in Shoreditch.
Lots of local pubs shut their doors after curfew, but the best place to grab a nightcap is the grand old Warrington Hotel in Maida Vale. Cross the Westway, get an outdoor seat to recalibrate then jump on the tube one street away.
If you just want to get home, aim for a station not directly on the Carnival route, many of which will be exit-only. Instead, try Shepherd’s Bush, Bayswater, Paddington or Duffy’s fave, Warwick Avenue.