It’s summer time in the UK, which means it’s time for festivals and carnivals. And the Bank Holiday weekend towards the end of August sees one of the entire country’s biggest and best carnivals, when the streets of West London come alive as Europe’s largest street festival takes place in the city of London.
Notting Hill Carnival is a vivid spectacle representing London’s multicultural past and present, which attracts nearly one million visitors every year.
Since 1964 the capital city’s Afro-Caribbean communities have celebrated their culture and traditions with a two-day festival of live music ranging from reggae to dub to salsa, soca floats, steel bands, uplifting beats, jerk chicken and fried plantain food stalls, plus much, much more
Ever since its inception the Carnival has grown exponentially, attracting ever more revellers to its unique spectacle of floats featuring calypso, mas and pan bands and a series of sound systems for alfresco dancing.
Approximately 500 people attended the very first Carnival – which was an offshoot of the Trinidad Carnival. Today, it’s one of London’s biggest cultural attractions, with over 50,000 performers taking part in the celebrations.
You can be sure of dense crowds and a vibrant celebration of music, movement and masquerade, and there are some amazing stalls of food to accompany the cultural celebrations.
We’d recommend the family-friendly Sunday as the best day to take your children to the Carnival, as the smaller crowds and the child-friendly floats create a fun vibe.
The main parade on Monday normally takes a winding path from Great Western Road, along Chepstow Road and Westbourne Grove to Ladbroke Grove.
In the evening, after the parade has finished, the floats leave the streets and people continue the festivities at one of the many Notting Hill Carnival after-parties.
It’s worth noting that Ladbroke Grove station is usually closed on both days, with other stations in the nearby area permitting exit only; if you do plan to visit the area on either of the days, we would recommend you taking a look at the Transport for London website to plan your route.
Here at DUKES London, we can certainly provide you with an amazing base to start off your Carnival day, as we are only a short journey from the route itself.
For more information on staying with us over that weekend, or at any time, feel free to contact us here. If you’re bringing the family for the Sunday, why not ask about our bespoke family getaways, and let our experienced concierge take the hassle out of your stay and organise everything you need for a truly memorable experience with your family in London.