Rooted in peaceful protest against the appalling state of race relations in 1950s England, Notting Hill Carnival was an inspired response, in the hope of promoting unity. Today, Notting Hill Carnival is, indeed, a joyful celebration of London multiculturalism, with a distinctly Caribbean flavour. The names of those first organisers, Claudia Jones and Rhuane Laslett (pictured, below) are now part of British history.
In the last Century, there were widespread reports of public order problems at Notting Hill Carnival but in the main, more than one million revellers enjoy a fantastic weekend. As well as traditional steel bands, there are approximately 20 miles of vibrant costumes, more than 40 static sound systems and hundreds of food stalls where delicious, traditional, Caribbean food has now been joined by kebabs, kibbeh, chips and much more.
Sunday is always designated as Children’s Day. It will be a little less crowded but the Children’s Carnival Parade is as impressive and spectacular as the main parade the next day. It’s highly recommended for kids of all ages. Whether you get down to Notting Hill Carnival on Sunday or on Monday, we advise getting there ahead of the crowds, by about 1230h, so that you can make yourself properly at home.
Carnival ends quite early on the streets but there are plenty of after-parties all over London. Our top tip is to head over to King’s Cross, to SCALALATINA and join in Carnival Continued, the massive Latin-American afterparty, until 6am. There will be live bands, dance showcases and loads of DJS across four rooms of hard, hot salsa, timba, hip-hop, reggaeton, zouk and samba.
Full details on the Notting Hill Carnival website