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Caribbean food, culture and fun: Notting Hill Carnival returns to London this month

Caribbean food, culture and fun: Notting Hill Carnival returns to London this month

Notting Hill Carnival will take place in London on August Bank Holiday weekend (27th and 28th), bringing together the UK’s Caribbean community for a spectacular celebration.

Expect delicious street food, vibrant costumes and spectacular parades during the free event, which has been running in the capital since 1966. 

The celebrations will be soundtracked by a variety of Caribbean-influenced music, including reggae, funk, ska, drum ‘n’ bass and more. 

The Sunday (August 27th) is Children’s Day, featuring a parade tailored exclusively for kids and a host of family-friendly events, including a Jouvert Procession. This is a cultural tradition that sees revellers throw powder paint at each other to the sounds of a steel band. 

Monday (August 28th) is the biggest day of the event and includes the grand finale - an unforgettable spectacle where over 60 bands parade through the area. 

It isn’t just the performers that are swept up in the infectious euphoria, either. Expect local bars and restaurants to put on special events around the carnival, including parties and live music. 

If you want to take a longer trip, you can head to the capital a day early on August 26th and enjoy a pre-carnival event in Emslie Horniman Pleasance Park from 6pm to 10pm. 

How can I make the most of Notting Hill Carnival?

The event offers an unforgettable experience but it is vital for visitors to plan ahead to make sure they have the best time possible. 

As the largest street party in Europe, Notting Hill Carnival can be overwhelming, especially for first-time attendees. Beforehand, make sure you are familiarised with the safe zones placed around the site and don’t hesitate to visit them if you feel uncomfortable.

While Children’s Day is undoubtedly family-friendly, organisers advise parents to leave prams at home and bring ear protection for their little ones. Adults should also consider taking earplugs for themselves. 

Make sure you take out money ahead of the event, too. While there are cash machines available, the queues can be enormous, so over-budget if necessary. 

When it comes to getting there, driving to Notting Hill Carnival can be stressful. With thousands of people flocking to West London, car parking can be expensive and difficult to find. 

To save money and make the most of your trip, it is advisable to book a coach in advance. These services are available for great value and can take you to locations close to the event, allowing you to relax and look forward to one of the most spectacular events on London’s calendar.

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