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Notting Hill Carnival

Around a million people hit Notting Hill's streets in West London for Europe's biggest carnival. Fabulous floats make a colourful circuit of the area and sound systems blast out music all day. Sample delicious Caribbean jerk chicken or Jamaican patties.

The event first took place in 1964, when the area's Caribbean community, suffering from discrimination, came together to create a festival with calypso music and steel bands reminiscent of the annual Trinidad carnival. The wider local community joined in with the party and the Notting Hill Carnival was born.

More than 100 decorated floats, pumping out calypso, soca and steel band music, parade through the streets over the weekend, followed by troupes of dancers in flamboyant, shimmering costumes and supporters with whistles and horns. They go round the carnival route just once, but it takes up to seven hours!

As you dance your way around the sound systems, everything from ska and reggae to hip-hop, funk, soul and house music keeps the crowds moving. Pick up an official map of where all the systems are and pick your favourite, or simply follow your ears and your feet. Make sure you check who is performing live - big names can often be heard for free.

Sunday is traditionally the Kids' Day of the carnival, while on Bank Holiday Monday London's party people come to let off steam and dance in the streets until around 10pm. Please note: the whole area around Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove is packed to bursting point over the weekend. Don't even think of driving - take the bus or Tube.

Notting Hill Carnival Information


When: Aug 2013 (annual)

Where: London

Cost:

Opening Hours:

Address: Notting Hill, London

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