Notting Hill Carnival - How To Guide

by Maddy de Winter 22nd August, 2019

It’s the Summer Bank Holiday this weekend and if you didn’t know already, it’s set to be a scorcher! A three day weekend is the perfect chance to have a mini break and do something a little different….so why not attend Notting Hill Carnival! A vibrant carnival, steel bands, loud sound systems, amazing food and fab weather - What’s not to love right!?

Here is a little “How To” to ensure you make the most of Notting Hill Carnival and your bank holiday weekend.

Notting Hill Carnival is a huge event that takes place annually on the bank holiday weekend in August, and has done since 1966. It is a free event that celebrates the Caribbean community with incredible costumes, wonderful music and endless street food. It is taking place this weekend: 24th - 26th August, but most of the action happens Sunday and Monday. 

Deciding Which Day To Go?
  • Sunday is a more family orientated day and is relatively chilled if that’s the vibe you’re after. 
  • Monday tends to be when the party goers choose to attend and where the hard-partying parade takes place!

What To Bring?
  • Number one priority is a vibrant outfit. Think glitter, sequins, bold colours and funky accessories… you can literally wear whatever you want - anything goes!
  • Drink plenty of water, partying this hard is going to be thirsty work! Make sure you bring some water too as shops can run out.
  • BRING CASH! Many street-side food and drink vendors only take cash, and waiting for a Cash Point can feel like waiting for rain in a drought. Plus it would be rude not to have a red stripe or a rum punch wouldn’t it!
  • It’s forecasted as sunny but go prepared, we don’t want you hearing your mum say “I told you so”. 
  • Bring tissues, loo roll runs out like there’s no tomorrow. Finding a portaloo with toilet tissue in can be near on impossible, TRUST US!

What To Eat?

Traditionally Caribbean foods rule at Notting Hill. Jamaican Jerk Chicken is King and is the immediate ‘scent of Notting Hill Carnival’. Also look out for Trinidadian Roti and Guyanese Pepper Pot! If you don’t eat meat there are also veggie options at most stalls and there is an increase in solely vegan food traders this year.

  • TFL have announced that for safety reasons some stations may close temporarily to prevent overcrowding. So it may be worthwhile walking part of your journey or seeking an alternative route.
  • There is a handy app which the Notting Hill Carnival organisers have created to help you navigate your way around! Download Here!

And Finally...

Notting Hill Carnival aim to honour, protect and promote the heritage of Carnival. It’s Europe’s greatest street festival so stay safe, enjoy the party and have fun #TheSweetWay!