Skip to Content

Get Ready to Party as Notting Hill Carnival Returns to London This Month

Get Ready to Party as Notting Hill Carnival Returns to London This Month

Love This? Save and Share!

The capital’s favourite celebration is back. Here’s what you need to know about Notting Hill Carnival 2023.

Second in size to only Rio’s famous annual carnival, Notting Hill Carnival is a huge celebration… and it’s returning to West London this month for more pumping party vibes and general good times. 

And it’s safe to say we are ready to party!

Excited? You should be. Here’s what to expect this year.

Notting Hill Carnival 2023 Line-Up

Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival is a time to let loose and celebrate Mas, Soca, Calypso, and more in a Caribbean carnival dance like no other. The main event is centred around just that – a massive carnival that parades through the streets of Notting Hill in full costume and plenty of pzazz.  

Want to get involved? The general public is welcome to join in with Mas on the 26th of August. You’ll be getting in amongst it with some pretty wild outfits – we’re talking bedazzled bikinis, feather-laden headdresses, and more jewels than you can possibly count – so as such you might want to dress up yourself.

As well as this, you can count on the street food being incredible – indulging in some Jamaican Jerk Chicken is a Notting Hill Carnival rite of passage. 

Though this year there is a huge increase in vegan food stalls, so plant-based partiers don’t need to miss out on the good grub.

And, with over 300 food stalls to choose between, you’re not short on choice.

The sound systems and live music also play a huge role in the celebration. Spend the weekend hopping from sound system to sound system, listening to the very best of Caribbean sounds… with a bowl of rice and peas in hand, of course.

The UK Steel Band Competition

Notting Hill Carnival being the Caribbean celebration that it is, also makes it the perfect place to hold a steel drumming competition. It just so happens that’s exactly what they’re going to do. 

On Saturday 26th all the finest steel drummers for a seven-hour showdown to find out who’s the best. There’s loads of bands in attendance, in fact the competition is one of the largest steel band gatherings outside of the Caribbean. Needless to say, it’s a sight to behold, and a treat for the ears. 

It runs from 4pm – 11pm on Saturday 26th. It’s also the only part of the carnival you’ll need a ticket to be able to see. You can book those here, where you can also find a bit more info.

A Brief History of Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival might be a joyous occasion today, but it spans from injustice, racial discrimination, and the tragic death of Kelso Cochrane. 

Cochrane was from Antigua and was murdered in Notting Hill on 17th May 1959 in a racially-motivated attack – the community was outraged and more than 1200 people attended his funeral.

In order to combat the tension created by this crime (which, FYI, is still unsolved today, thanks to a police cover-up), Rhaune Laslett organised community events to bring the Caribbean diaspora together.

These small street fairs would soon morph into the Notting Hill Carnival we know and love today. 

Notting Hill Carnival 2023: Practical Information and Map


Notting Hill Carnival returns over the weekend of 27th – 28th August 2023.


The clue is in the name – Notting Hill. The areas of W10 and W11 are where the heart of the carnival is held.

Notting Hill Gate is the nearest tube station, though you can also travel to Ladbroke Grove or Westbourne Park and then take a short walk to the centre of the action.


Notting Hill Carnival is completely free and unticketed, just show up and get ready to party.


  • Take sun cream if it’s hot. We always pray for sun, and sometimes it actually comes out. If so you’re going to be under it for a full day and you’ll want to be protected. 
  • Be careful with your things. Though Notting Hill Carnival is all about the good vibes, there are some bad seeds that might be on the lookout to pick a pocket or lift an unattended bag – have your wits about you. 
  • You’ll be able to buy water in the shops around Notting Hill but bring a refillable flask if you can. The local businesses should be more than happy to fill it for you and then you’ll save on plastic waste. 
  • Beers, drinks and consumables of all kinds can be purchased from the many pop-up stands and the many corner shops around the neighbourhood so no need to pack a lunch or lug a crate of beer across town for this.  
Anspach & Hobday
22 Brilliant London Breweries + Map For Exploring Them
Afternoon Tea Week
Afternoon Tea Week: The Best Spots You Need to Hit Up