Shopping arcades have always fascinated me. As a child growing up in Yorkshire, my home town had an arcade full of quirky shops, including a joke and toy shop which was always my favourite. That shop is still there today, though the arcade is a bit run down now. Arcades were the original idea for sheltered shopping before big malls became the norm. Arcades in the centre of Sydney or Melbourne have now become glamorous places, with niche or boutique shops, but still with that touch of quirkiness. In other towns and cities, arcades have become a haven for artists and creative types. But sadly in some places, the shopping arcade has been virtually abandoned.

Manchester Unity Arcade – Melbourne

This superb 1932 arcade in the heart of Melbourne may no longer house small boutique shops, but it has two cafes and a dental practice whose owner opens up the building for public tours on Sundays

Howey Place, Melbourne

Howey Place started life as a laneway to Coles Book Arcade but has had a glass roof for over 100 years now. So many curious incidents here over the years...

Block Court Arcade – Melbourne

This 1930 conversion of an older building in the centre of Melbourne gives Block Court Arcade an art deco feel. Not so many quirky shops, but this arcade has a bank branch in the middle of it.

Campbell Arcade – Melbourne

1950s vintage arcade built to ease pedestrian traffic into Flinders St station for the Melbourne Olympics. Check it out while you can as Metro Tunnel building works might see it pulled apart.

Cathedral Arcade, Melbourne

The glass leadlight ceiling of Cathedral Arcade is absolutely stunning. A real vintage beauty in this 1920s building near Flinders St station.

The Block Arcade, Melbourne

Melbourne's Block Arcade, where class has been on display since 1892, in all senses of the word. The tea rooms, a bugler and a dose of Dr Seuss are my favourite bits.

Royal Arcade, Melbourne

Melbourne's Royal Arcade opened in 1870 & is still going strong. Full of quirky, interesting shops plus the wonderful Gog & Magog sculptures & Father Time to remind of the important things in life