Notting Hill Carnival 2016 guide: Where to watch the parade and how to get there

Emma Haslett and Clara Guibourg
Notting Hill Carnival
Hundreds of thousands will bear down on West London this weekend (Source: Getty)

Planning on negotiating bus strikes and the inevitable downpours to go to the Notting Hill Carnival this year? Here's our guide to how to make the best of Europe’s biggest and most colourful street festival

1. The weather

The good news is while the bank holiday won't quite hit the Caribbean temperatures experienced in the capital this week, it's looking likely to be about 21 degrees celsius, with a mixture of sunshine and cloud. Perfect to keep cool while you're dancing.

2. Timings

Carnival bands will take to the roads from 9am Sunday and Monday on Great Western Road. But if you fancy a lie-in, there’s no need to rush. Music sound systems will continue blaring and people will be dancing throughout the parade area all the way until the 7pm noise curfew.

3. The parade route

If you’re looking for a good spot, make your way to the parade route. The parade kicks off on Great Western Road, its winding its way down Chepstow Road, onto Westbourne Grove and down Ladbroke Grove - but be prepared to brave the crowds. Hundreds of thousands are expected to bear down on Notting Hill for the two-day festival.

Here's a map from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which includes soundsystems, bars and the parade route

4. How to get there

It’s going to get busy, let’s just get that fact out of the way. Transport for London suggests walking from alternative stations if possible, warning of overcrowding at many of the Tube stations closest to the parade route.

  • Notting Hill Gate: Exit-only 11am-7pm both Sunday and Monday. No interchange between District, Central and Circle lines 11am-7pm Sunday or all day Monday. On Monday, District and Circle line trains will not be stopping at the station.
  • Ladbroke Grove: Closed all day Sunday and Monday.
  • Latimer Road: Closed at 11.30pm Sunday and Monday.
  • Royal Oak: Exit-only 11am-6pm Sunday and Monday, closing at 11.30 both days.
  • Westbourne Park: Exit-only from 11am Sunday and Monday, closing at 6pm both days.

No buses will be running in the carnival area from Sunday morning to Tuesday morning - on top of which, drivers of buses on 28 routes across London have voted to go on strike. For up-to-date information, check Transport for London's website.