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When workers from the Caribbean arrived in the UK after the second world war, their living conditions were less than ideal in London’s Notting Hill and Brixton. After a rise in social and racial tensions, divided riots broke out in 1958. The efforts created to bridge the cultural gap between the communities was what gave life to the Notting Hill carnival.
The first carnival took place in 1959 in the St. Pancras Town Hall in London.
On average, close to 1 million people attend the carnival each year.
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As the carnival is free to attend, crowds can grow very quickly. Therefore, to get the most out of the event, we recommend you thoroughly plan your day beforehand. Your first choice will be to pick the day best suited to what you want to get out of the carnival – so which is right for you? Take a look at our handy guide and explore our top tips for enjoying the festivities.
The carnival begins Sunday 25th August and ends on Monday 26th August 2019.
Sunday 25th August: From 6am - All day
Monday 26th August: From 9am – 10pm
Sunday: Throughout W10 in West London
Monday: Throughout W10 in West London
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Underground: The Central Line will be running across the bank holiday weekend for Queensway, Notting Hill Gate and Holland Park. Additionally, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines will be stopping at Westbourne Park, Ladbroke Grove and Latimer Road. However, if at any time there is overcrowding, the stations may be closed.
1) Pack the essentials
Make sure you pack the following essentials for a day of carnival fun!
- Hand sanitiser
- Water bottle
- Suncream and sunglasses
- Drinks and Snacks
- Travel potties (the toilet queues can get very long)
2) Check travel
Some roads will be closed and bus routes disrupted during the carnival. This means tube lines will be busier than usual, so make sure you check and plan the route you’ll take before you travel.
3) Arrive early
If you want to secure a good spot to watch the celebrations, arrive early. Particularly if you’re bringing young children along with you.
4) Dress for the occasion
It is a carnival, so get creative and colourful with your clothing! However, make sure you’re comfortable and dressed for the weather on the day you’re going. Heels and uncomfortable shoes are a definite no as you’ll be standing for long periods of time!
5) Download or print a map of the route
It’s advisable to download a map of the carnival route, this way you can see what’s happening where and locate the many sound systems dotted around.
This map from Time Out London includes sound systems, toilets and safety zones.
Once you’ve partied the day and evening away, it’s nice to have somewhere close by to relax and spend the night. Fortunately, Grange Hotels have a selection of independent hotels located within Central London, so you don’t have to worry about the exhausting journey home. Even better, this summer, we are offering 15% off accommodation and dining with our Summer Escape offer, so get booking!