Notting Hill Carnival

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Great Western Rd, London, United Kingdom
020 7727 0023

Notting Hill Carnival London Reviews

joseph98 joseph98
129 reviews
British weather, Caribbean Atmosphere! Jan 24, 2016
Once a year, on every August Bank Holiday weekend, the well-to-do London suburb of Notting Hill is submerged by a riotous paint box of colour, a cacophony of Calypso-Reggae music infusions and a mouth-watering medley of irresistible, freshly cooked treats. Yes, the Notting Hill Carnival is one of the most outright fun events in London, and has become a key fixture on the British capital’s calendar.

The carnival originated in 1966. These days, the United Kingdom is one of the most multicultural nations in the world, and cosmopolitan London is the standard bearer of this mostly successful integration. Sadly, this wasn’t always the case, and in the carnival’s early days race relations were somewhat more strained. The Notting Hill area itself, which had seen the greatest influx of Caribbean immigrants in the wake of World War II, had seen serious, racially motivated assaults on black people. The carnival was the eventual response to this.

Its history has not been without trouble, and its taken decades of sometimes painful development – more than once it has been threatened with cancellation all together – to become the glorious celebration of London’s tolerance and ethnic diversity that it is today. Whilst it is predominantly Carribean in flavour, it is noticeable that every community is in attendance, and the narrow streets of Notting Hill itself could not be any more British.

And neither, of course, can the weather. It might be the British summer, but that doesn’t guarantee the event will be free of rain, and lo and behold when I went, there was rain aplenty. But that didn’t spoil the party atmosphere. The vibrant, colourful parades of people in ever-more elaborate costumes danced down the streets with smiles on their faces, all to a joyous, bouncy soundtrack. Sure the crowds can be insane, but there’s a general vibe of everyone relaxing and having a good time, so safety is rarely an issue…just try not to get drunk too early on!

No such shenanigans ought to happen on the Sunday, which is more family-friendly than the Monday parade I attended and which these pictures are taken from. In addition to musical acts actively encouraging people to get drunk, such sights as pole dancing ladies in scanty outfits might make you think twice about bringing children along on the Monday.

All in all, the Carnival is a special experience – a slice of carefree West Indian hedonism in the ordinarily staid and proper affluence of Notting Hill – and one you should seriously consider checking out should you happen to be in London during the last weekend of August.
13 / 13 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Nana_gincin says:
Congratulations on your featured review! Deserved. :)
Posted on: Jan 29, 2016
Paulovic says:
Congrats on the feature!
Posted on: Jan 25, 2016
Suusj says:
Congrats on being featured :).
Posted on: Jan 25, 2016
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mattyd81 mattyd81
1 reviews
Notting Hill Carnival Mar 02, 2008
Last year was my first year to Notting Hill Carnival in London. Never really knew what I was to expect, but I had a fantastic weekend.

Anyone going to the carnival will have a great time. The Carnival starts early and goes on well into the evening. The streets are rammed packed with people as the procession makes its way round the streets of London.

There are street stalls selling beer or pop into one of the pubs, however expect to pay a good £3/4 for one beer. Then enjoy and keep drinking on the streets! Most streets have a a DJ or music playing so these streets get a little busy with everyone dancing.

We stayed on a couple of streets that were just simply full of people dancing to the tunes played from one of the shops.

The London tubes run till late and are really busy, but hey its London!

For anyone travelling and visiting just keep to the main streets and enjoy yourself!
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
andreamylesa says:
Looks a lot like Toronto's Caribana. I will have to check it out one day:)
Posted on: Jul 30, 2011

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