London Photo Gallery
Leicester Square, Chinatown, National Gallery


The first Chinese to settle in Britain arrived in the late 18th century. They were exclusively male, and employees of the East India Company. They settled in the dock areas of Liverpool and Limehouse in London. Although the success of the British in the Opium Wars (1840 - 1842) lead to an increased degree of contact between Britain and China, the Chinese population in Britain remained very, very small. At the turn of the 20th Century there were just 545 Chinese in Britain, almost exclusively male. They ran small shops and cafes, catering for the extremely transient Chinese population of seamen.

The relative educational success of British Born Chinese brought further economic success, and the Chinese by and large moved out of Chinatown, making room for more commercial space, and went to the suburbs. Chinatown itself was transformed by Westminster City Council, recognising that it had become a major tourist attraction. Gerrard Street was pedestrianised, as was part of Newport Place and Macclesfield Street. Chinese Gates, street furniture and a Pavilion were added as Chinatown came of age, a symbol of the success as well as a cultural focal point of the Chinese community of London.

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Leicester Square

Traversed by 22 million people a year, major cinemas stand on three sides of the square offering over 12 films at any one time. Top London nightclubs such as the Hippodrome, Equinox and Maximus can be found in the the area, as well as numerous other venues nearby ready to show you a good time.

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National Gallery & Trafalgar Square

The main hub of Central London, was built in honor of Admiral Nelson after his victory in 1805 at the Battle of Trafalgar, off the coast of Spain. John Nash designed the square in the 1830's. The centerpiece is Nelson's Column, which supports a large statue of Nelson on the top. Nelson, atop the column, looks minute from the ground but is actually 18ft high. Four bronze lions by Edwin Landseer stand at the base of the column.

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