The Notting Hill Carnival is the largest street festival in Europe and originated in 1964 as a way for Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their own cultures and traditions. It attracts around one million people annually, making it a significant event in British culture. Taking place every August Bank Holiday weekend in the streets of London, it falls on the 27 and 28 August 2016. The Notting Hill Carnival is an amazing array of sounds, colorful sights and social solidarity.
At the roots of the Notting Hill Carnival are the Caribbean carnivals of the early 19th century – a particularly strong tradition in Trinidad – which were all about celebrating the abolition of slavery and the slave trade. The very first carnival was an attempt to showcase the steel band musicians who played in the Earls Court of London every Weekend. When the bands paraded through the streets of Notting Hill, they drew black residents out on to the streets, reminding them of the Caribbean homes they had left behind.
Spread throughout W10 in west London, the Carnival celebrations take over the areas of Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park. You can expect a patchwork of Caribbean-influenced sounds: reggae, dub, dancehall, soca and calypso. Plus house, funk, drum ’n’ bass, jungle, dubstep, ska, breaks and more. All blasting from 38 dedicated soundsystems. Oh, and there are steel bands and live bands too.
For anyone travelling long distance to the event we have a selection of over 3000 motorhomes and campervans available to rent at Yescapa.com.
The Carnival floats and bands set off at 9am on both Sunday and Monday mornings, running roughly until 7pm both days. Once you get there you can take the tube to the outskirts and join the masses in walking towards the parade route. The nearest tube stations without disruptions are Holland Park, High Street Kensington, Queen’s Park, Shepherd’s Bush, Bayswater and Paddington, while the following have amended operating times:
Notting Hill Gate (exit only from 11am-7pm)
Royal Oak (exit only from 11am-6pm; closed from 6pm on Mon)
Westbourne Park (exit only 11am-6pm)
Have a great carnival!
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