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This video is part of the Britain is GREAT series. To find out more about the project and to see the full series of videos visit our LearnEnglish website.
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Small specialist shops can be found all over the country. The Lanes in Brighton are made up of a fabulous web of small streets with lots of quirky shops and boutiques. They’re a great place to discover original fashion, furniture and accessories …
But a shopping spree doesn’t have to involve visiting shops! British markets are really popular and sometimes in surprising places. This is Piccadilly Market at St James’ Church in central London, and not many people know it’s here.
Photographer Simon Weinstock runs a stall here.
Richard: Hi, Simon. Tell me about your stall.
Simon: Well, I’ve been here 15 years on St James’ Market. This is my most popular image; I do lots of other images. This is a London bus going round Piccadilly Circus with the old Underground sign, very iconic. I do the London Eye, I do the Houses of Parliament, terribly popular of course.
Richard: So who are your customers?
Simon: My customers come here from all over the world. I have Russians, lots of Americans, Chinese these days, Australians – you name it, they come here! Some of my work’s gone to Outer Mongolia, believe it or not.
Richard: And in your opinion, what makes Piccadilly Market so special?
Simon: It’s a very unique, small market. There’s only about 40 stalls here. It’s a very friendly market. Not that many people know about it – it’s a hidden gem! And there are lots of stalls that you can only buy the product here, they’re not available anywhere else in London, so that makes it very unusual.
Richard: What do you like about shopping in London?
Girl: I think, like, the variety of stuff and there’s always something different, there’s always something on the street, there’s always something new to buy.
Man: I like about shopping in London the old shop, like in Covent Gardens, the old shop.
Woman 1: I like the mixture of some expensive and some cheaper ones. I like.
Woman 2: Well, I think it’s just the variety of shops and places where you can go for shops.
Richard: Britain is great for shopping. There’s such variety, and there’s something for everyone. The only trouble is – there’s too much choice!
Do you like shopping in big department stores or do you prefer small, quirky shops?