Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill Carnival hit London this weekend. The annual London carnival and street party is the largest in Europe and second in the world only to Rio’s carnival. This year the Carnival dates were the last bank holiday weekend in August, 26th, 27th and 28th. Check out the videos of my visit below.
Notting Hill Carnival History
Notting Hill carnival has a long history. The event millions love and visit today evolved over 5 decades. Tracing its roots from two separate events which were both reactions to racial tension here in London and hoping to build community.
Following the Notting Hill race riots of 1958 two ladies organised two independent events. Claudia Jones a journalist and civil rights activist held a “Caribbean Carnival”. The events were indoor cabaret shows and even shown in the UK on national television. As the driving force of the events they ended following Claudia Jones premature death in 1964.
A Notting Hill local Rhaune Laslett organised a Notting Hill Fayre to build community in 1966. Performers from Claudia Jones event took part including a steel band who paraded through the streets. Carnival was born and has been growing each year. The event has never been without tension, trouble and critics. However now over one million people visit each year, and one million people can’t all be wrong.
Notting Hill Carnival
The carnival is a free to attend enormous street party in West London. There is primarily a Caribbean theme running through events. A Carnival parade winds its way through the main streets. And also in all the surrounding streets are sound systems, parties and some amazing food and drink.
The atmosphere at carnival is phenomenal. A sea of people at every turn, music and the smell of smoke and Caribbean inspired food cooking. The event is the size of a festival so there is something for everyone. You can have a relaxed family carnival you’ll have fond memories of or find a huge wild party where everything ends up a blur.
When not hosting Carnival Notting Hill is a charming corner of London. Hugely popular with visitors and also tourists. Home to Portobello Road market and also some amazing boutique shops, cafes and restaurants. So Notting Hill is definitely worth a visit during carnival and also at any other weekend for a completely different view of the area.
To see more about Notting Hill carnival and also the full history check out our previous visits here