Notting Hill Carnival 2023: Line-up, parade route and road closures
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Notting Hill Carnival is an annual celebration of Caribbean culture and diversity in London.
The festival started in 1966 on the streets of the Notting Hill area of Kensington and has taken place every August bank holiday weekend ever since.
The iconic street party was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic but made a triumphant return last year.
It’s set to return again this August Bank holiday with crowds of over two million people expected.
Here’s everything we know so far about this year’s Carnival.
When is Notting Hill Carnival?
Notting Hill Carnival starts on Sunday, August 27 and the two-day party ends on Monday, August 28.
On Saturday August 26 a ticketed steel band competition will also take place.
Where is the event?
The Carnival takes place throughout the W10 postcode.
It’s mostly in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, with the parade passing through Notting Hill (of course), plus Ladbroke Grove, Westbourne Park and Kensal Road.
To check the exact 3.5 mile route, download the official Notting Hill Carnival app.
What is the Notting Hill Carnival 2023 line-up?
Here’s just some of the exciting line-up for this years carnival:
- Top bands compete in the UK’s biggest steel pan competition at Panorama in Emslie Horniman Pleasance Park.
- The next generation take up the carnival baton at the joyful Children’s Parade on Sunday.
- Colourful and exuberant festivities as part of the Traditional Parade featuring mas, soca, calypso and more.
- A unique party vibe created by the more than 30 static Sound Systems playing everything from samba to hip-hop.
- Delicious food and drink from around the world across more than 300 stalls, including Jamaican jerk chicken, Trinidadian roti and Guyanese pepper pot.
How do I get to the Carnival?
As many road closures take place during the festival, public transport is the best way to travel to Notting Hill Carnival in west London.
If you’re planning to visit the festival, allow extra time for your journey as a number of local Tube stations close or are subject to disruption. Extra buses are normally put on during the carnival weekend, but these are diverted away from the carnival route.
The nearest Tube stations to Notting Hill Carnival are Bayswater, High Street Kensington, Paddington, Queen’s Park and Shepherd’s Bush, but some are exit-only across the weekend.
Check the Transport for London (TfL) website before you travel for the latest Notting Hill Carnival transport information.
What roads will be closed?
Most roads within the Carnival area will be closed from 6am on Sunday August 27 to 6am on Tuesday August 29. These include:
- Aldridge Road Villas
- Alexander Street
- Alexandra Mews
- Alfred Road
- Artesian Road
- Bishop’s Bridge Road from Porchester Road to Westbourne Grove
- Botts Mews
- Bridstow Place
- Chepstow Road
- Courtnell Street
- Durham Terrace
- Elgin Avenue between Harrow Road and Chippenham Road
- Fermoy Road
- Great Western Road
- Harrow Road from Ladbroke Grove to Great Western Road
- Hatherley Grove
- Hereford Road
- Hormead Road
- Kildare Gardens
- Kildare Terrace
- Lancaster Road
- Leamington Road Villas
- Ledbury Road
- Monmouth Place
- Monmouth Road
- Moorhouse Road
- Newton Road
- Northumberland Place
- Queensway between Westbourne Grove and Porchester Road (access will be allowed into Queensway from Bayswater Road to allow access to parking)
- Redan Place
- Shrewsbury Mews
- Shrewsbury Road
- St Luke’s Road
- St Stephen’s Crescent
- St Stephen’s Gardens
- St Stephen’s Mews
- Sutherland Place
- Sutherland Terrace
- Talbot Road
- Tavistock Crescent
- Tavistock Road
- Wellington Close
- Westbourne Gardens
- Westbourne Grove
- Westbourne Grove Terrace
- Westbourne Park Road
- Westbourne Park Villas
- Woodfield Place
- Woodfield Road
History of Notting Hill Carnival
By the time of the first Notting Hill Carnival, over 30,000 Caribbean people were living in the UK after the SS Empire Windrush’s arrival.
Trinidadian human rights activist Claudia Jones is credited with the first ideas for the carnival.
The first outdoor festival took place in 1966 and was organised by social worker and activist Rhaune Leslett.
The aim was to create an outdoor space to be enjoyed by children and the local West Indian community.
Today the event attracts over 2.5 million people annually making it one of the world’s biggest street parties.