10 Survival Tips for the Carnival
Notting Hill Carnival is known as the biggest street party in Europe. Up to 2 million visitors have attended in the past. Planning ahead before attending is critical, as the area is very busy on the two days of the celebration. Here are our 10 survival tips that should hopefully help you have the best time possible.
1. No heel zone
By all means, have fun with glitters and feathers for Carnival, but be sure to wear comfortable shoes. The Carnival routes stretches 3.5 miles and you're likely to have to walk to get in and out of the area. You'll be thankful for trainers on the day.
2. Plan your journey
Many stations operate with restrictions on Carnival weekend. Consider using stations a bit further away from the Carnival route such as Shepherd's Bush, Kensal Green. Check our guide and be sure to plan your journey with Tfl.
3. Meet your friends before joining the area
The Carnival route is largely operating a one-way system. Once you're inside the carnival route, it is difficult to move from one point to the other. If you've got friends to meet, make sure that you're together before you get to the carnival area. Additionally, mobile phone coverage can be very weak due to the large amount of people, so make sure you've agreed on a meeting point if you get lost.
4. Eat the Jerk!
Food at Carnival is notoriously delicious.
Jerk chicken, curry goat, stew peas, there are a lof of food stands to choose from. Don't miss the opportunity to eat some quality local Caribbean food.
5. Bring cash
Some street traders may accept cash, but many won't. To be on the safe side, bring some cash.
6. Travel light
Small handbags are a must and don't bring valuables. A mobile phone case with a strap is best!
7. Go early with family
If you plan to go to the carnival with family, go on Sunday, where children parade on the streets. And by all means, come in morning, it is quieter, and leave by lunchtime.
8. Have the carnival route saved on your phone
9. Pick your sound system
Pick your sound system and stick to it. Walking around, when carnival is in full swing, is a slow process. If you find a spot that you like, stick to it, you'll have a better time.
10. Enjoy the party
Notting Hill Carnival is known as the biggest street party in Europe. Originally created to soothe the tensions that arose in the Notting Hill Area in the 1950s, it is now brings together carnival floats, food traders and sound systems that play a wide variety of music. There is something for everyone at Notting Hill Carnival.