Celebrating the Caribbean community, the annual Notting Hill Carnival returns this August bank holiday. Taking place since 1966, Europe’s biggest street party features loud music, plenty of jerk chicken, extravagant costumes and parade processions.
Corus Hotel Hyde Park is just a short hop on the tube away from the festivities and we’ve got the lowdown on what to expect if heading out west this weekend...
The Carnival takes place in Notting Hill and its surrounding areas, including Ladbroke Grove, Westbourne Park, Westbourne Grove and Bayswater. Roads are pedestrianised to cope with the numbers; 2 million people attend over the weekend every year, so use public transport to get there but make sure to check with Transport for London (TfL) before you travel as some tube stations are expected to be closed due to overcrowding and buses will be rerouted.
Every year, the event is kicked off by Panorama. From 6pm on Saturday 24th August in Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park, experience a steelpan extravaganza from the UK’s National Steelband Competition. You’ll need a ticket for this one though!
Sunday 25th August is a family day, with J’Ouvert in Ladbroke Grove, the traditional celebration before the formal start of the Carnival starting at 6am! The Opening Ceremony at 10am in Great Western Road and Children’s Parade, the main event of the day, on the Parade Route, mark the official start of the Carnival.
The final day and bank holiday, Monday 26th August, the Main Parade sees 60 bands in colourful costumes pound the street, with entertainment on multiple stages and the iconic sight of sound systems blaring out huge tunes.
If we haven’t said it before, we’ll say it again, bear in mind Notting Hill Carnival gets very busy and phone signal can get disrupted, so we recommend sticking together if in a group and getting in the Carnival spirit by dressing up in glitter, sequins and feathers – bright colours should help you keep track of everyone.
You’ll want to try all the authentic Caribbean cuisine on offer, from curried goat to jerk chicken. However, while some vendors are moving towards taking card payments, most are still only going to take cash.
On the Sunday night many venues across London are hosting after parties for Carnival goers from Aquum in Clapham and 229 The Venue in Great Portland Street to Ministry of Sound in Elephant and Castle to Fire in Vauxhall.
Corus Hotel Hyde Park still has some last minute availability for this weekend. Book directly now and get free breakfast to fuel your Carnival day ahead!
Corus Hotels were created with the belief that warm, friendly hospitality, personalised experiences & inviting settings are essential to a well-travelled life.
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Our gorgeous blog cover photo is courtesy of ©Beth Sandland Photography, who stayed with us in December 2017. Check out her blog here.