Is is just me, or has the Notting Hill Carnival rolled around incredibly quickly again? Perhaps it’s all the other excitement in London this year over the Jubilee and the Olympics, but the August Bank Holiday (i.e. public holiday for the non-Brits) weekend – and therefore the Carnival – really seems to have snuck up on us this year!
The two-day Notting Hill Carnival (28th and 29th August) will once again see a children’s day take place on the Sunday, whilst the Monday reigns supreme as…well, not children’s day! Once again, the main part of the Carnival on both days will involve the parade which will proceed on a route from the Westway on Great Western Road, down Chepstow Road, along part of Westbourne Grove and then up Ladbroke Grove towards the Grand Union Canal (with a shorter and more child-friendly parade on the Sunday).
This week’s copy of Time Out has a superb pocket-sized guide to Carnival (perfect for being on the go!), featuring an all-important Carnival map that shows the location of pubs & bars and sound-systems. There’s also a listing guide to the sound-systems, as well as another on the assorted Carnival-related events in Notting Hill and elsewhere in London that are taking place this weekend. If you can’t get your hands on a copy of the magazine, then take a look at their online guide!
View London also has a decent guide to the Carnival, including additional recommendations for pubs and bars to party in long after the colourful floats and costumes have been packed up and the sound-systems have been switched off.
It’s also a good idea (yes, sorry – here’s the “serious and boring” bit) to take a look at Transport for London’s page on the Notting Hill Carnival, especially the information on the area’s Underground station restrictions (some local stations will be closed or have limited entry/exit) and diversions to some bus routes.
RBKC’s Carnival page also details some important information (including several useful maps), as well as plenty of advice for local residents.
Get your Caribbean- style glad rags on, your whistle primed and get ready to party through the Bank Holiday weekend!