Get ready for an explosion of colour and culture at the 2018 London Notting Hill Carnival. What’s on, Guide and Route Map for 2018.
Put on your dancing shoes and get ready for Europe’s biggest street festival.
The Notting Hill Carnival is a free annual musical entertainment event that has taken place in London since 1966 on the streets of Notting Hill, West London in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Over the course of 3 (yes 3) days – the streets of London will come alive with the rich intoxicating flavour of far away places – pulsating to the beats of soulful music. Culminating in the grande finale on the August Bank Holiday Monday.
Centered around the infamous Ladbroke grove — there will be a near-endless parade of striking performances. The greatest spectacle on earth!
We give you the ultimate lowdown on the who, what, why, when and where to help guide you to your perfect summer festival destination.
Who is Carnival for?
“Carnival is for everyone” — the young and the old, the brave and the bold. It isn’t called Europe’s biggest street festival – for no reason. The area is populated by the busting Portobello Market and a slew of pop-up stalls, shops, pubs, parks and street entertainment.
What is the London Notting Hill Carnival? And Why?
Carnival is one heck of a street party. It dates back to 1966 bringing together the expat community of the Caribbean in celebration of the Caribbean culture.
Today it is the premier one-stop party destination, with over 2 million party revellers expected to attend the festivities. DJ’s, Bands, Singers and Performers will entertain the crowds with Calypso, Soca, Rap, Reggae, Blues, Soul and modern popular Dance music. Notwithstanding the members of the public (and body-popping Police) who are often the best entertainment.
So, When is the London Notting Hill Carnival?
This years 2018 programme sees another 3 day event, with carnival events taking place over the bank holiday weekend of the 25th, 26th and 27th of August 2018.
Day 1 – Saturday 25th August 2018: Panorama
- Time: 19:00 – 22:00
Panorama is a steel band playing competition – which takes place between the hours of 7pm and 10pm BST. The free open air competition event is held in Emslie Horniman Pleasance park, Bosworth Road, W10.
Day 2 – Sunday 26th August 2018: J’Ouvert and Children’s / Family Day
- Time: 06:00 – 09:00 (J’Ouvert) , then 10:00 – 20:30 (Main parades and Street Party)
The Children’s Sunday Parade / Family Day is a ‘slightly’ quieter affair than the Monday. But don’t be fooled into think that it will be quiet. It is still very busy & bustling, but with a slightly more considerate crowd. There are many floats and processions with booming sound systems and a plethora of splendiferous colourful costume displays.
J’Ouvert is a tradition throughout parts of the Caribbean, where participants (also known as “Jab Jabs”) wear chains and smear paint, mud & oil on their bodies and throw powdered & liquid paints at each other. The activities start at 6am (yes – nice and early) on Sunday morning at Canal Way (Ladbroke Grove W10) and culminate at 9am – before the main processions begin at 10am.
During the main carnival event (10am – 8:30pm) – Live music can also be enjoyed at Powis Square and in Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance park.
Day 3 – Monday 27th August 2018: Bank Holiday
- 10:00 – 20:30 (Main parades and Street Party)
If you thought Sunday was gonna be busy (and it will be) — then be prepared for playing sardines on Bank Holiday Monday.
Get ready to party like a Pro
The Carnival will get busy with millions of visitors expected to descend on West London over the 3 days of events.
Soak up the music, party and atmosphere with plenty of exotic food and rum to help wash them down.
Notting Hill Carnival is the world-wide renowned celebration of West Indian history, traditions, culture and music. A diverse platform welcoming all to one of the worlds greatest traditional celebrations .
Not to be confused with the similarly named Nottingham Carnival.
Where does the Notting Hill Carnival take place?
Slap bang in the heart of West London, England centred around the Notting Hill area W10/W11 encircled by the main roads: Ladbroke Grove, Kensal Road, Westbourne Grove and Westbourne Park. The area featured in the hugely popular 1999 “Notting Hill” romcom film – staring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.
Notting Hill Carnival Route Map
Transport Guide: Transport For London