Time to start planning for the Notting Hill Carnival

There may be several months to go until the August Bank Holiday, although if you're planning to head to London for the Notting Hill Carnival that weekend then it's a good idea to start making your preparations as early as possible, as accommodation can get pretty oversubscribed if you leave it late.

Europe's largest street parade, the Carnival has been taking place every year since 1964, when it was created by the local Trinidadian community. These days, it has expanded into an enormous celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture, while also being something of a symbol for the wonderful diversity and cosmopolitan nature of London as a whole.

This year's event will once again see the streets of west London come alive with an explosion of colour, noise and festivities, and with more and more people attending each year, you can be sure that this is going to be the biggest party in town.

As per tradition, proceedings will kick off on the final Sunday of August with Children's Day, when a series of floats will pass through the streets and a number of prizes will be given out for the best costumes and dancers.

The Bank Holiday Monday will then see the main parade take place, while the entire area fills up with calypso bands, soundsystems playing drum n bass, ska, dub step and several other genres of music, and a huge array of street food stalls selling typical Caribbean cuisine.

The area of Notting Hill is of course one of London's most iconic neighbourhoods, having starred in the hit romantic comedy of the same name starring Julia Robert and Hugh Grant.

Situated on the Central Line of the London Underground network, it can be reached in around ten minutes from the Montcalm Hotel Marble Arch, which is a fantastic place to rest your weary head after a tiring day of partying in the streets.

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