A beginner’s guide to Notting Hill Carnival
The August bank holiday is the last long weekend before Christmas and so you've gotta make the most of it: dance, eat and drink yuh way through the streets of London’s Notting Hill!
Join the crowds of all races, ages and genders who descend on West London on the 25th and 26th August this year to celebrate diversity and colourful Caribbean culture and have a grand old time, just as they have for the last 50-odd years.
If you’ve never been to Notting Hill Carnival, it can be daunting; especially with the negative coverage in the news. Fear not though, there is a heavy police presence and, when they’re not wiggling their hips to the music, they’re there to keep everyone safe. With a little bit of caution and a lot of wining (in both the drinking and dancing sense), you’ll literally have the happiest day of your entire year. So, make like those dancing policemen and get yourself down to London’s biggest street party with these little tips…
Get there on time
Whether you go on Sunday in t-shirt or monokini - where paint, liquid chocolate, glitter and general happiness fly high in the sky – or Monday – the beautiful costume day – you do not want to miss a thing. You can find the parade route on the Notting Hill Carnival official website, so you don't get lost between the food, people and sound systems.
Run with a band
Who wants to just watch the parade when you can be in it, eh? Grab your ultra all-inclusive packages from this very website for a massive, seven-hour paint party on de road on Sunday, then mesmerising costumes come Monday. Your ultra all-inclusive packages include food (lunch on Sunday; breakfast and lunch on Monday), unlimited drinks, a souvenir cup, a full security team to set your mind at ease as you party away, and your t-shirt, monokini or full costume. Oh, and let's not forget some of the biggest Soca DJs in the WORLD!
Drink a little slower
It’s a full day, and there are loads of people about. You need your wits about you if you ever want to find your friends again after lone-wolfing it to the toilet! Now, OBVIOUSLY I'm not saying don’t drink - enjoy yuh self! Just drink a little slower, or with water in between.
Plan your route home
There are a lot of road closures and station closures in the area during Carnival, so it's best to plan how you’re going to get there, and home again, in advance. Head to TfL's website to work out your best route.
Just have fun
The whole point of the weekend is to enjoy yourself! That means every size, race and type of person are welcome to just let loose. Don’t feel self-conscious; embrace the paint and costumes, and sing and wine your heart out!
See you there!