Shopping Arcades List

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Kirkgate Arcade in the busy Yorkshire market town of Otley is a bustling little arcade packed with small independent businesses offering a really wide range of services and products. There’s the workmanlike hardware store near the entrance to the arcade, and a traditional sweet shop opposite that; there’s a barber’s, a beauty salon, a vintage…

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The highlights of North Bridge Arcade in Edinburgh are overhead. The round, dome-like stained glass ceiling in the middle of the arcade is magnificent, but the sparkling gold leaf mosaic on one of the ceilings gives the feel of a starlit night for those entering the arcade from the Old Town of Edinburgh. There are…

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Cathedral Arcade in Melbourne is one of the Victorian capital’s hidden gems. It runs through the ground floor of the 1926 Nicholas Building, famous today for its vintage lift and for its arty studios in the offices upstairs. The arcade is in an L-shape with entrances on Swanston Street and Flinders Lane. The highlight is…

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Central Arcade in Newcastle is a superb two-storey building dating from 1906, with lots of original features on the inside, including the ornate brown tiling, the upstairs balcony, entrances onto three streets in the centre of Newcastle, and one shop that has been there almost since the beginning. Windows Music Shop is a beautiful place,…

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In 2011 the city of Hamburg realised the potential of its covered shopping centres by creating an Arcades Quarter or District. Today, the entrance to the area is marked by large signage hanging over the roads into the area showing ‘Passagen Viertel.’ We asked locals for directions to the ‘Passagen Viertel’ and everyone knew where…

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The Arcade in Colne is a 1920s passageway that runs from the main road in Colne, Market Street, to Post Office Yard at the back. There’s a definite sense of community in here, even though there is only a handful of shops, and most of them are fairly recent arrivals in the arcade. It’s a…

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Hamburg’s Kaiser Galerie was completely refurbished in 2011-14 and has now reopened as a high-end shopping arcade, though still retaining many original features from the 1907 building. The arcade is in the heart of Hamburg’s Passagen Viertel (Arcade District) running from the Grosse Bleiche street to the canal along which other arcades flow. The entrances…

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Shackleton Hall – or the Royal Arcade – in Colne has had a recent makeover and looks magnificent today. The building dates from the 1890s, but had become dilapidated and disused until a complete overhaul and refurbishment, making it now a really attractive shopping arcade in Colne’s main street, with a dozen or so independent…

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Timaru’s Royal Arcade has a wonderful mix of quirky, rather unique shops and businesses in 2023, including the intriguing ‘genealogy services’ office of David Jack, the spiritual wellness centre and a doorway leading up to the Arcade Ballroom. There is also a hair salon, vintage clothes shop, barbers, and a workwear clothes shop. The glass…

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The Royal Arcade in Wigan has a big sign saying it is Wigan’s oldest arcade, but actually although it might look older than the nearby Makinson Arcade, it really opened 28 years later, in 1927. Its narrow walkway and the bend in the arcade, along with its mock-Tudor frontage give it real vintage feel, and…

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The Galleria arcade in Hamburg might have lots of art deco features, in the overall mood, with its black and white marble shop frames and its definite art deco shape to the entrance to the upstairs apartments, but it was designed in 1976 in a part of Hamburg that had become rather run down and…

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The two Victorian arcades in Halifax run into the indoor market building, which was opened by the future George VI, when he was still Duke of York in 1896. The arcades have the classic glass and ironwork ceiling, with impressive stonework entrances, but they are both quite short and are divided by Russell Street, so…

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Gay’s Arcade was opened in February 1886 just a few weeks after its neighbour Adelaide Arcade. It has a different feel, in part because a different architect designed it. Its main entrance in Twin Street is somewhat more modest than its illustrious neighbour, but inside, it has the same two-storey layout, with units on both…

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The Royal Opera Arcade in London is the oldest arcade in the UK, having been built between 1816 and 1818, so pre-dating even the Burlington Arcade. It runs from Pall Mall to Charles II Street, with His Majesty’s Theatre on Haymarket backing onto the northern end of the arcade. Sadly, it is almost deserted now,…

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The highlight of Hamburg’s oldest arcade is surely the Jugendstil murals, which were basically advertising for Gustav Mellin, whose biscuits gave this arcade its name. Amazingly, these were covered up for nobody knows how long until they were discovered in rebuilding the arcade after a devastating fire in 1989. The other highlight is the 100…

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It may not be London’s oldest arcade, opening in June 1880, some 60 years after its neighbour the Burlington Arcade, but the Royal Arcade is actually my favourite of London’s shopping arcades, and The Globe newspaper in April 1910, reviewing London’s arcades, called the Royal: “the most imposing and ornamental arcade in London.” Outspoken art…

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George’s Street Arcade in Dublin runs through the middle of an enormous red sandstone market building, which had to be rebuilt after a disastrous fire gutted much of the building and destroyed the original arcade in 1892. It runs from South Great George’s Street through to Drury Street, close to Dublin Castle and Temple Bar….

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Princes Arcade began life with an art deco design built between 1929 and 1933, when it formally opened. The arcade today results from a 1980s refurbishment, which aimed for a ‘Jane Austen era’ style, with vintage lamps and rounded-windowed shop fronts. There are classical mouldings in the ceilings and above the shops on the fronts,…

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Brisbane Arcade is a 1920s masterpiece with shops on two levels, beautiful lead light windows over every unit and high up just below the Art Deco designed ceiling. There are six chandeliers lighting up the arcade, marble staircases up to the upper balcony and two walk ways across the middle of the Arcade giving great…

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London’s Burlington Arcade opened in 1819 and has been a role model for many other arcades that opened up around the UK in the following years, becoming the place to see and be seen, and specialising in luxury. In many respects it is still the same today, over 200 years on. Beadles in uniform still…

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Adelaide Arcade must be the envy of many arcades round the world: it has achieved high occupancy rate, high footfall and a fantastic awareness of its own history, with a museum upstairs in the arcade where there are highlights of the arcade’s past and even a recording of the original polka tune composed for the…

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The Royal Arcade in Keighley, West Yorkshire, is still going strong, although in the 1980s it was derelict and might well have gone under the bulldozer. Thank goodness it was bought by developers who wanted to restore its Edwardian/Victorian charm. This arcade has a T-shape, with the name of the arcade standing clearly over the…

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The Passage du Prince is slightly the poor cousin of its illustrious neighbours in the Galeries Royales. Its glass ceiling is somewhat more modest, its shops not quite so ostentatious. And it is only one storey high, so the ceiling also doesn’t pull the gaze upwards as it does in the other Royal arcades. But…

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One of the speakers at the formal opening of Stirling Arcade in 1882 claimed “Friends who had been in Paris and London…said there was not an arcade in Paris of the magnificence of roof and general beauty of the Stirling Arcade.” The roof and fittings of the shop fronts have had a few facelifts in…

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Galerie Ravenstein in Brussels almost feels as if it’s the set for a 1950s sci-fi movie. It was built in 1958, at the time Brussels was developing into the home of the new European institutions. It must have looked so futuristic at the time, with its dramatic round glass ceiling, its ornate tiling, and the…

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Barton Arcade was once known by some as Manchester’s “Little Crystal Palace,” because of its domed roof of glass. The glass ceiling still features today, with the gaze drawn up towards it by the three levels of iron balconies that run around the 3-4 storeys of this 1871 arcade. The upper floors are no longer…

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Ceiling in Passage Verdeau, Paris

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Passage Verdeau is the third in a line of arcades that extends northwards, starting at the Passage des Panoramas, continuing through the Passage Jouffroy, and finishing at the northern end of Passage Verdeau, which opens out onto rue du Faubourg Montmartre. Its glass ceiling, with its fishbone window frames, is perhaps this arcade’s most striking…

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The highlight of the 1929 Exchange Arcade in Nottingham is above your head, in the four frescoes which depict different stages of Nottingham’s history: there’s the arrival of the Vikings into the city in 868AD, William the Conqueror visiting Nottingham in 1068, Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest, and Charles I raising his standard here from…

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The Theatre Royal is perhaps the main feature of the Galerie de la Reine in Brussels, with its Magritte-painted domed ceiling, still drawing in theatre-goers over 100 years since it first opened. The Galerie de la Reine is really just the continuation of the Galerie du Roi, extending beyond the central section towards the north….

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The Arcade in Bedford opened in 1905, and one of its tenants today has been serving sweets to the locals for just about as long as the arcade has existed. Arcadia is one of those vintage sweet shops that go down well in this sort of arcade. The Arcade is an unpretentious walkway that joins…

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