Notting Hill Carnival
Performers dance in the street parade at the annual Notting Hill Carnival Reuters

Hundreds of thousands of visitors will head to west London for the annual Notting Hill Carnival this weekend, the biggest street festival in Europe and the second largest carnival in the world after Rio. The August bank holiday event will kick off with a Caribbean atmosphere and costumed performers, calypso music, steel bands and delicious food.

Here is everything you need to know.

When is it?

The carnival starts on Sunday 28 August, which is Children's Day, and continues into Monday 29 August.

Where does the carnival take place?

It takes place in areas of Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park in west London.

How do I get there?

Due to road closures, the easiest way of reaching the carnival is by Tube or the Overground. Be aware that Notting Hill Gate will be exit-only from 11am-7pm on Sunday and Monday.

The following stations around the carnival area have no planned closures:

High Street Kensington – Circle and District lines
Holland Park – Central line
Queen's Park – Bakerloo line
Shepherd's Bush –Central line
Bayswater – Circle and District line. On Monday 29 August, between 12pm and 7pm, customers are advised to use this station as Circle and District line trains will not stop at Notting Hill Gate
Paddington – Hammersmith & City and Circle lines. On Sunday 28 and Monday 29 August, customers are advised to use this station instead of Notting Hill Gate or Royal Oak, as both these stations will have entry restrictions.

Notting Hill Carnival
A performer at Notting Hill Carnival Reuters

The following London Overground stations have no planned closures:

  • Queen's Park
  • Kensal Rise
  • Kensal Green
  • Shepherd's Bush.

Can I get the bus?

On Sunday and Monday, bus services begin from Notting Hill Gate in the south and from the Prince of Wales on Harrow Road, close to Elgin Avenue, in the north. Night buses in the area will be subject to diversions.

There will be extensive road closures in Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park areas.

What is going on?

The Sunday Parade/Family Day will take place on the Sunday, with a children's parade and calypso and soca performances on the World Music Stage. There will be 38 sound systems located around the carnival area, as well as family workshops and food stalls. On Monday, the Grand Finale parade will showcase 60 bands in costume.