By Stephen Spark
Photographer Stephen Spark
United Kingdom | Tuesday 14 November 2017: 7:07 GMT
If you mentioned ‘Notting Hill’ 20 years ago it was Hugh Grant’s blue door that came to most people’s minds. These days, it’s Carnival that makes all the headlines, so it’s fitting that the August bank holiday soca and sequinned spectacular is the subject of a series of guided walks. Even after the sound systems have been switched off, the chicken bones swept up and the dancing policemen put away for another year, the spirit of Carnival still dances through these streets. With more than half a century of history behind it, Carnival has as much right to be considered part of London’s heritage as the Trooping of the Colour. Despite being ignored by tourism bodies and national government, Notting Hill Carnival is a potent ingredient in the capital’s tourism industry.After holding a trial run in August, Simply Cultura – which describes itself as ‘cultural fusion event company’ – is offering walks on several dates in the coming weeks. Each is led by a trustee of Carnival Village Trust and promises insights into the history of the event. Along the way you’ll visit important sites in Notting Hill where the pioneers of the Carnival lived and worked, and also get the chance to learn more about Carnival Village. More historical information is provided in the electronic brochure given to each participant and there’s even a chance to design a personalised Carnival souvenir.Walks cost £35 per person, start at Westbourne Park tube station and end two and a half hours later at the Tabernacle in Powis Square, where participants will be provided with a Caribbean meal and a soft drink (* whether it’s a fast wine or a slow wine, it isn’t a free wine!). Here are some upcoming dates and start times Tue 21 Nov (11am), Wed 22 Nov (11am), Fri 24 Nov (11am) and Sun 26 Nov (2pm).