Thursday, 27 August 2009

Notting Hill Carnival 2009

Carnival2007Ever since I moved to London in 1997 the Notting Hill Carnival has been a mark of the year for me. As a result its one of those times in the year, beyond New Year, that I really take stock of how the year has gone. In fact I have gone every year with the first missed Carnival in 11 years last year when I had to be a long way away in Nepal for work. I remember ploughing through a really humid forest caught in the middle of a monsoon and beset with mosquitos realising that I should have been in Westbourne Park in the sun with beer!

This year should be the best yet - because it gets better every year, and having gone from the Bush the last few years my own tips for Bushers are simply thus -

  • the best way to get into the mix without having to walk for miles around police lines is the H&C line from the Bush to Westbourne Park. Get off there and turn right down the side street you'll be directed down but then take the first left - and follow the crowd, it will put you on the route quickly.

  • pace yourself and plan to end up around Meanwhile Gardens. At the end of the day (and you might want to walk all day or you might want to do just a few hours) if you stand in this park there are stalls selling cold beer and food, and you get to watch the floats go by without having to move. For the men the rear wall of the park seems to function as a mass urinal - so don't sit near there!

  • You won't be able to get back in to Westbourne Park tube because it's exit only and all the others are shut, so .. from Meanwhile Gardens you can walk out of the back of the park, turn right beside the canal and it will take you to Harrow Road where there are buses to paddington and edgware road. And then H&C back to Bush.

  • seriously watch out for pocket thieves. You're going to be crushed up against people so forget bags, especially handbags, and if you have any wear bottoms with zip up pockets. If not keep checking them or keep your hands close to them.

Enjoy! The Carnival home page is here and London Transport's special Carnival page for travel details is here.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for doing all this for us. It takes the hard work out of the research and is all perfectly helpful.