If it is the last weekend in August, then there is only one place to go - Notting Hill for this is the setting of the greatest carnival in Europe, attracting over one million visitors keen to dance throughout the day and much of the night. It‘s lively, colorful and extremely entertaining.
There are a variety of events throughout the weekend such as the children’s carnival on the Sunday, and there are lots of parties. For visitors, there are plenty of hotels in north west London to choose from, which offer a luxury base for your trip.
Bank Holiday Monday is always the biggest day of the Carnival weekend. This is when the biggest of all the carnival processions wends its way through the streets of Notting Hill. In general around 60 steel bands take part, along with thousands of dancers and performers clad in the most dramatic, brilliantly decorated costumes you can imagine. There are countless lorries and vans decorated in stunning designs and everywhere you go, mobile sound systems play a wide range of dance, calypso and reggae music. This is Mardi Gras London style involving over 50,000 performers!
Impromptu parties with their own music systems take place in side streets and everyone is welcome to take part. The sound of stamping feet, elaborate dancing moves are found everywhere.
You don’t have to be a performer to enjoy this Carnival. Everyone is welcome to dress up in sequins, glitter and fancy dress adding extra colour and life to the crowded streets. Performers have been polishing their acts for over a year and are determined to make an impression on the crowds as well as the judges. Good views of the procession can be found along the route, as well as beside the Judges Platform in Powis Square.
Thousands of visitors are expected to stay in London during the carnival, with many booking rooms at hotels near Wembley Stadium and other parts of the city. There is always plenty of food and drink available. Caribbean specialities such as rice and peas or jerk chicken are always on offer as well as other street food styles, and traditional fast food.
Book a stay in Best Western Palm Hotel London in advance and allow plenty of time to reach the carnival area. It is always well signposted, and in doubt just follow the sound of music. However, patience is needed. Most roads are closed to traffic, and there is very little parking available. The majority of people attending the Carnival live nearby, or use public transport. Buses and the Underground get very crowded and at times tube stations around Notting Hill may actually be closed due to the sheer numbers of people trying to get on or off the trains.