Notting Hill Carnival 2017 – A Beginner’s Guide ( Tips, Budget, Dates, Transportation)
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Imagine about two million people dancing and celebrating in the streets of London to the beats of Afro – Caribbean music for two days in August. Stop your imagination and book your tickets to London to experience the Europe’s biggest street party – Notting Hill Carnival. The streets come alive with vibrant colours, crazy dance moves, unbeatable music and extraordinary flavours.
In this post, we will be answering you some basic questions, which each and every traveler like you and me looks for.
1. What is Notting Hill Carnival?
Notting Hill Carnival was started by the African – Caribbean immigrant community in North Kensington and Notting Hill to showcase and celebrate the Caribbean culture and traditions in London. It was started in 1966 with around 500 attendees and have since grown to become one of the biggest street festival in the world.
2. When is the Notting Hill Carnival?
It takes place on the bank holiday weekend in August. Usually it is the last Saturday, Sunday and Monday of August every year. In 2017, the carnival is on 26th, 27th and 28th, in which the main events are on Sunday 27th and Monday 28th. August 26th, Saturday is the Panorama day. August 27th, Sunday is the Jouvert and Family Day, which is also the Sunday Parade Day. August 28th, Monday is the Grand Finale Day, also the main event day. On Sunday and Monday, the event begins at 9:30 am and finishes by 6:30 pm. You can attend the after party later on.
In 2018, it is likely to take place on August 25th, 26th and 27th.
3. Where does the Carnival occur?
It takes place on the streets of Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park. During the main parade, it starts from Great Western Road and then moves to Chepstow Road, Westbourne Grove and finally to Ladbroke Grove.
4. What is the best way to get there?
Anyone who has been to the carnival before, would obviously say the answer as to use the Tube and then walk along with the crowd. Nearest Tube stations are Bayswater and Paddington, Holland Park, High Street Kensington, Queen’s Park and Shepherd’s Bush. You can also use the extra bus services available during the carnival, although we recommend you the take the tube as the first preference.
5. How much money do I need?
Notting Hill Carnival is absolutely free and you don’t have to pay any entry fee to attend it. You need to have money for food, transportation and after party. A meal of jerk chicken or curried goat can cost somewhere around 6 to 10 bucks and afterparty cost can start from 10 bucks. If you are planning to stay in London, make sure to book your hostel or hotel atleast a week before. For ease, I have left a link below, where you can reserve your spots at the hostel or hotel. It is usually going to cost you more than 25 pounds for a night stay and alternatively, look out for couch surfing option to minimize your expenses.
Few tips that would be useful:
1. Carry a bottle of water to keep you hydrated as you will be walking and dancing a lot in this carnival.
2. It gets super crowded and hence have an eye on your belongings. It is generally safe but prevention is better than cure.
3. Arrive early to secure the best spot.
4. Make sure to plan your travel route in advance. But the fact is that at some point, you are going to get lost and that’s the fun of attending the biggest street party in Europe. Most of the time, you will not have your phone connection, so make sure that you at least know your way to the tube station.
Hope you found this post useful and feel free to share this article with everyone. Let us know your thoughts and doubts in the comment section below. Have a blast at Notting Hill Carnival!!