Each year, the August Bank Holiday weekend brings an explosion of colour, sound and delicious aromas to the streets of London. The Notting Hill Carnival is one of the biggest in the world, bringing people from all around the world to both perform in the parade and to watch it.
The Carnival has been going since 1964, beginning as an offshoot of the Trinidad Carnival, and still stays true to its Caribbean roots with a diverse range of performers. Every year, you’ll see stunning floats, astonishingly detailed costumes, and great music from parading Samba drummers and other musicians.
Whilst the parade takes place in West London, visitors often stay in different areas of the city. A million visitors are expected, so naturally there’s considerable overspill into the rest of London! Media reports also often tend to focus on the unfortunate disturbances caused by a small number of attendees when the night draws in, so carnival attendees can feel a lot safer if they have a hotel to return to out of the area. It is actually quite easy to catch a bus from the Kings Cross Area to the carnival area – and in fact, quite large numbers of performers can themselves be seen each year on the bus with their drums! However, you do need to check road closures before you go, as the stops can change on the day.
The main Carnival itself is on the Bank Holiday Monday, starting on the Great Western Road before moving along Chepstow Road and turning onto Westbourne Grove. It will then move onto Ladbroke Grove, and if you can get a view from the top of the hill here it is quite a sight to see, with literally thousands of performers filling the road and vibrant crowds surrounding them.
It’s not just colourful costumes and music of course – you’ll also find plenty of food stalls selling traditional jerk chicken and other Caribbean delights.
However, it’s not the only event. The Carnival weekend also includes Family Day on the Sunday, which is a great, friendly day with a children’s parade and costume prizes.
If you’re thinking of attending the Notting Hill Carnival, we recommend the Time Out guide to help you make the most of it, and if you’re looking for cheap hotels in Kings Cross for your stay, we’d be happy to hear from you!
For more information, to check availability or to make a booking, call us on +44 20 7837 1451 today!