Notting Hill Carnival

Caroline Cassidy

On August Bank Holiday, the streets of West London will come alive with colour, costume and music as the Notting Hill Carnival entices revellers to join the party.

Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill Carnival

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The Carnival began life in 1966 as a local festival by and for the West Indian community of Notting Hill. Today more than one million people from across the world and over 40,000 volunteers come together for what is now Europe's biggest street festival.

Eye-popping outfits and colourful floats are accompanied by steel drums and giant sound systems.

And if you can tear your gaze from the parade itself, the hundreds of stalls lining the streets offer a mouth-watering taste of the Caribbean.

This year, the Carnival takes place on Sunday 28th and Monday 29th of August. It's a family-friendly affair these days and Sunday is Kids' Day, when prizes will be awarded for the best costumes.

The main event is the parade which will wend its way from Great Western Road to Ladbroke Grove on Bank Holiday Monday.

While the floats depart in the evening, the revelry continues well into the night at various parties throughout Notting Hill.

Now part of London's rich cultural history and one of its most exciting annual events, the Carnival is worth at least one visit in a lifetime, if only to experience the true flavour of the Caribbean.