Street parties are something of an English tradition, with ingredients like bunting, Pimm’s and lemonade and all manner of cakes helping to create a wonderfully British festive atmosphere.
While these sorts of events are typically reserved for special occasions, such as a royal wedding or other nationally celebrated occurrences, there are also a number of annual events which bring what seems like the entire population of the capital out onto the streets for a party.
Perhaps the most famous of these is the Notting Hill Carnival, which takes place in the West London neighbourhood of the same name – which non-Londoners may well be familiar with thanks to the hugely popular 1999 romantic comedy Notting Hill, starring High Grant and Julia Roberts.
The carnival itself takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, and is a celebration of Afro-Caribbean cultures and London’s links to these regions of the world. Every year the streets become awash with revellers of all creeds and colours, while food stalls and sound systems playing an array of different musical genres can be found throughout Notting Hill.
Elsewhere, the Camden Crawl takes place each spring in the ever-popular Camden Town area. A huge number of bars, pubs and clubs take part in the festival by hosting live music performances, and while tickets are needed to gain access to most of these, it’s still worth heading to the area even without one, as there’s no charge for hanging out on the streets.
Tens of thousands of people flock to Chalk Farm Road and the Stables Market each year, creating a fantastic atmosphere, while a number of impromptu gigs are also in the middle of the road itself.
Finally, the Lord Mayor’s Show has been taking place in the capital for nearly 800 years, and sees the Lord Mayor travel in a lavish coach form the City of London to Westminster to pledge his allegiance to the monarchy.
Held every November, the event brings thousands of Londoners out onto the streets to watch the coach go past, while fireworks light up the sky and a festive spirit fills the air.