As I’m sure everyone knows, it’s the August Bank Holiday weekend this weekend which means only one thing – the Notting Hill Carnival! Taking place on Sunday 30th and Monday 31st August, a proper festive atmosphere descends on Notting Hill as colourful parade costumes, elaborate floats, traditional calypso music and some crazy dancing.
Not forgetting the rum cocktails, jerk chicken, Red Stripe, booming soundsystems and crazy parties, of course!
The Metro newspaper uncovers the best Carnival bars for the Carnival (though I feel they just seem to be a general assortment of bars in Notting Hill) as well as the best Carnival club nights which is a little more Carnival-themed.
Spoonfed has a very useful Carnival guide which includes some top tips (I agree with all of them!), and a guide to the various soundsystems and some of the after-parties, as well as a “highlights” map.
There’s also general info from NottingHillCarnival.com.
Finally, check Transport for London’s Notting Hill Carnival page (including their useful leaflet) for details of how to get to the area. Note that some Underground stations in Notting Hill may have special restrictions in place during this weekend. (And will – understandably – be very busy!)
My advice? Plan where you want to be and what you want to watch/listen to before you get there – otherwise you’ll probably just get lost in the crowds. Be prepared for there to be huge crowds, so consider going to a bar/pub/quiet part to chill a little. (Or join someone’s party, if you know of any). Be also prepared to get deafened by lots of whistles in constant use (or join them and purchase a whistle yourself). Try the food from one of the many stalls. And lastly, have a good time!