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When is the Notting Hill Carnival 2023? Dates, schedule, route map and what time the parade starts

The world-famous festival Notting Hill Carnival is back – and this year is set to be as big as ever.

It was first held in 1966 and is a celebration of the history of Caribbean culture in London.

Roads throughout Notting Hill will be closed to make space for the massive procession, and traffic and public transport surrounding the area will be disrupted.

What is theNotting Hill Carnival?

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea website reads: “Notting Hill Carnival has been celebrated since the mid-1960s, a positive act of celebrating the culture, history and arts of the Caribbean community in spite of the racism and prejudice they faced. 

“It was first part-inspired by the murder of Kelso Cochrane, a young black man living in North Kensington, in 1959. After his death, local activism in the community began to swell and soon a children’s fayre was organised by local community members to create stronger ties among residents.

“This event grew into Notting Hill Carnival.”

It has been going for five decades and more than one million people are expected to visit the carnival over the bank holiday weekend.

When is the Notting Hill carnival?

The carnival parades will begin at 10am on Sunday 27 August and 10.30am on Bank Holiday Monday. Things will wrap up on both days at around 7pm.

What is the schedule on Sunday?



Sainsburys Ladbroke Grove, W10 6HJ

The website says: “The word J’Ouvert stems from the French ‘Jour ouvert’ meaning ‘opening of the day’. It is tradition in the Caribbean to launch Carnival just before sunrise, continuing into daybreak.

“J’Ouvert morning is one of Notting Hill Carnival’s best kept secrets. Droves of hardcore revellers converge onto the streets of Notting Hill in the very early hours of the morning to celebrate the opening of carnival, to dance and get messy. Expect to see colourful paints and powders in place of the mud and oil of Caribbean tradition, but the high energy and party pandemonium is universal.”

Official Opening Ceremony


MAS Judging Point, Great Western Road

Each year Carnival is opened by local residents and participants.

Children’s Day Parade Parade Route

According to the website: “This year we will return the Sunday to the children, encouraging increased participation with a range of family-friendly activities and events, with the main event being children’s mas. It’s an undeniable joy to see the next generation carrying the Carnival baton – dancing in the streets wearing their carefully crafted costumes.”

Dutty/Fun Mas Parade Route

The website reads: “Get down and ‘dutty’. Just like J’Ouvert, this mas is for those that enjoy the mayhem. As a spectator you can expect to be splashed with brightly coloured paints and powder or even melted ‘chocolate’. It’s pure revelry, and you can’t deny the infectious hyped energy of the party-hard participants, ‘chipping’ and ‘wining’ recklessly to the bass-heavy sound of the ‘mile-high’ mobile speakerboxes.”

Close-up of beautiful feathers in carnival costumes at the Notting Hill Carnival, London, UK The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event that has taken place in London since 1966 on the streets of Notting Hill, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, each August over two days (the August bank holiday Monday and the preceding Sunday). It is led by members of the British West Indian community, and attracts around one million people annually, making it one of the world's largest street festivals, and a significant event in Black British culture
Close-up of feathers and carnival costumes at the Carnival (Photo: Inga/Getty/Moment RF)

Sound Systems


The site says: “If you love to dance in the street but don’t want to be ‘on di road’ then Sound Systems are where it’s at. Sound systems are a well established and integral part of Notting Hill Carnival specifically. Notting Hill Carnival’s Sound System tradition is rooted in Jamaican culture and Reggae music, at today’s Carnival you can hear everything from Rare Groove to House to Samba.”

Live Stages

Soca City

Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park, W10 5DH

Powis Square Stage

Powis Square, W11 2AY

What is the schedule on Saturday?

Adult’s Parade

The website reads: “This is the carnival climax. It’s the last lap for another year and you can really feel the intensity of the party vibes. It’s what the MAS Bands have been preparing for all year: it’s showtime! Time to free up and just revel in the joy that is carnival!

“If you haven’t bought a band costume feel free to wear your own (you won’t be alone), grab a whistle or a horn find a good position on the parade route (we recommend you arrive early) and jump up and dance as the floats pass you by.”

Sound Systems

“If you love to dance in the street but dont want to be‘on di road’ then Sound Systems are where its at. Sound Systems are a well established and integral part of Notting Hill Carnival specifically.

“Notting Hill Carnivals Sound System tradition is rooted in Jamaican culture and reggae music, at todays carnival you can hear everything from rare groove to house to samba.”

Live Stages

Soca City Stage
Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance

Powis Square Stage
Powis Square, W11 2AY

How can I get to Notting Hill carnival?

The London overground stations closest to the carnival are Queen’s Park, Kensal Rise, Kensal Green, and Shepherd’s Bush. A Saturday timetable will run on bank holiday Monday.

Nearby tube stations will be very busy – with some closed, closing early or facing other disruptions.

The tube stations affected are:

  • Ladbroke Grove – closed on both days
  • Holland Park – closed on both days
  • Royal Oak – exit only from 11:00 until 18:00. Closed from 18:00 on both days
  • Latimer Road – closed from 23:30 on both days
  • Westbourne Park – exit only from 11:00 until 18:00. Closed from 23:30 on both days
  • Notting Hill Gate – exit only’from 11am to 7pm each day

What is the route for the carnival parade?

The carnival takes place in west London in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC).

The parade route, which is around three and a half miles long, will take in:

  • Ladbroke Grove
  • Westbourne Grove
  • Chepstow Road
  • Great Western Road
  • Kensal Road

The event map shows the route marked out in red as well as the location of among others the judging zone, safety zones, street trading and sound systems.

You can find out more information on the council website and a route map is available here.

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