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Notting Hill Carnival

London’s Notting Hill Carnival is one of the largest street festivals found in the world and it definitely feels that way when you find yourself dancing in the middle of narrow alleys. The Notting Hill Carnival was originally created to help overcome the racial tensions found in the area, so this celebration of diversity was founded. What better way for everyone to forget their differences than by throwing a massive street party for everyone. Add in some culture into the mix through the music and everyone becomes friends.

40 years later and the Notting Hill Carnival is still going strong, it’s now more of a celebration of the culture with music, floats, dancers and of course some of the best street food available. In fact, Notting Hill has gone from poor to posh and is certainly regarded as one of the wildest carnivals outside of Rio. A little fact for you: Prince Charles has long been a supporter of the Notting Hill Carnival, which is estimated to bring in at least £100 million each year.

Be prepared to discover a fantastic day out with a mix of family friendly events which are usually held on the second day of the carnival, including fancy dress competitions for the children.

Monday is better known as ‘Adults Day’ (held on a bank holiday) where things take more of a sexy twist! The parade focuses on just four styles for the day: masquerade, steel drums, calypso, and SOCA (sounds of the Caribbean and Africa). The incredible amount of Jamaican style sound stages results in floats having a ‘battle of the bands’ where mash-ups of calypso vs. drum and bass, dance hall vs disco happen. This Jamaican mash-up definitely makes for some wild, full contact dancing.

Along with the intense music and street dancing, you’ll discover the sea of every bright colour possibly visible to the human eye. The sexy sequin covered outfits come with a copious amount of bare flesh, with plenty of booty shaking along to the sounds of samba. Feel up for a dance? Don’t have a crazy costume? Don’t worry! Usually for a small fee of around £10, you can get yourself a colourful tshirt and a spot to join in with the party behind the float 😉

Make sure you take a moment between dancing to sample some of the most amazing street food known to man. Yes I’m talking about jerk chicken and many other Caribbean dishes! – Yum!

Carnival Route & Getting There

Travelling to and from the Notting Hill Carnival will be restricted all weekend (29th – 31st August). It is well advised to work out your best route in advance as everywhere will be heavily congested. To avoid the peak congestion, it may be worth arriving early or late to the carnival.

You can find out the best travel advice and this years carnival route on the official Notting Hill Carnival website

Article written by Adam Boston

Discover the most inspiring travel stories, must do adventures, and photography of the world seen through the eyes of Adam. Uncovering what the world has to offer, from one country to another.


Currently there's 7 comment(s)

  • Catherine

    Commented on 06/07/2014 at 21:11

    I have always wanted to go to the Notting Hill Carnival – have never made it so far and it’s looking like I’m not going to be this year either. I’ll bet it will be worth the wait when I eventually do though!

    • Adam Boston

      Commented on 07/07/2014 at 08:36

      Hi Catherine! Shame you’ve never made it there so far, but never say never. We’ll make sure we get some good photos of the whole day to inspire you for the future 🙂

  • Katie

    Commented on 14/07/2014 at 22:35

    Awesome shots! The festival seems so fun. i’m practically obsessed with street food – so I know I’d love part… also (slightly off topic), I love the way you layout your photos – I’ve got to figure that out for myself! 🙂
    Katie recently posted…Indonesian Food – yes, please!My Profile

    • Adam Boston

      Commented on 15/07/2014 at 08:29

      Make sure you take part in the Notting Hill Carnival at some point 😀 It really does transform the streets of London into something quite remarkable – so much fun too!

      The photos layout > I use the Jetpack plugin to create photo galleries, pop me an email if you need any help 🙂

      • Katie

        Commented on 16/07/2014 at 01:45

        I surely will! I’m sure I’ll make it back to London one of these days… Thanks for the info about galleries – I will be checking that out ASAP! 😀
        Katie recently posted…Diving Menjangan Island IndonesiaMy Profile

  • Ranthambore Jeep Safari

    Commented on 28/07/2014 at 05:36

    Notting Hill Carnival, i always want to enjoy it each time when it comes to in line, but miss everytime. but i am making a promise to myself will be a part of 2015…SURE!!

  • Tupu69

    Commented on 02/10/2017 at 10:55

    WoW!!! Sounds like something adventurous. Means that me and my bike together again for some new freshest moments. my bike is my best friend.Either I take it along everywhere – or it takes me.Thanks a lot for sharing your great thoughts through your amazing post. Looking forward for more from you.


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