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A Guide to Tib Street in Manchester

A Guide to Tib Street in Manchester

As someone who loves exploring Manchester for leisure, I can safely say that Tib Street is arguably one of the most beautiful areas in the city. More importantly, its history is interesting and it’s definitely worth the time learning about. 

What is the history of Tib Street Manchester, you ask? 

Tib Street emerged as a trading and agricultural hub during the 1800s. A century later, the street developed into a pet shop attraction and was famously known as the ‘Pet Shop Paradise’ of Manchester.  

On top of its fascinating history, Tib Street is also home to dozens of bakeries, doggy daycares (row 191 dog daycare manchester), and florist shops that you should definitely visit if given the time and opportunity. 

As someone who frequents it, I made a comprehensive guide to help you have the best quality time at the Northern Quarter. Along the way, let’s also learn more about its rich and riveting history. 

Tib Street through the years: Fun and interesting facts  

As mentioned, Tib Street’s history has a lot to unfold. There are numerous cliff notes and small anecdotes about it that are rather intriguing to anyone who wants to visit the place. 

For someone who delved deeper into my hometown’s more obscure stories and fun facts, I believe that you’ll find them amusing at the very least.

The Street’s Profound ‘Tib’ Moniker Origin 

The Street's Profound 'Tib' Moniker Origin's Homepage
Tib Street Dirty Work” (CC BY 2.0) by dullhunk

River Tib is found just adjacent to the street that once marked the area of Mamucium, Manchester. Mamucium— the latinisation of the word ‘breast’— also shares distinct historical significance to Tib Street’s name. 

Furthermore, Mamucium is also the Roman name given to the city of Manchester which means ‘breast-like hill’. Looking at the city from top view, the description is hilariously apt.

In fact, homesick Roman soldiers at war were reminded of their native River Tiber. Thus, the street near the River is named after this shortened version of ‘Tiber’. 

A lot argue which origin is accurate, but one thing’s for sure: The ‘tit mountain’ trivia is perfect to get a reaction from small talks at dinner parties or family reunions— at least to me it is. 

Manchester’s Central Pet Store Surge  

Manchester's Central Pet Store Surge's Homepage
Image credit: Pxfuel 

Tib Street was famously known for its pet markets district. I want to elaborate more about this because I think it’s quite a fascinating period. 

People who are interested in dogs and cats can find a lot more variety than the standard pet categories. There are rabbits, snakes, monkeys, and several species of birds that people can buy during that time.

What’s fascinating about it is there’s no other place in the United Kingdom where you can find such wild selections of animals to purchase as pets. If someone somehow wanted to have a Turkey or exotic fish for a pet, Tib Street was the place to go. 

‘Pet Shop Paradise’ turns to ‘Sex Shop Paradise’

Pet Shop Paradise' turns to 'Sex Shop Paradise's Homepage
Nice ’n’ Naughty, Manchester” (CC BY 2.0) by Gene Hunt

I feel like it’s only fitting that Tib Street should be the centrepiece of Manchester’s explicit items market because of its alluring name origin. 

Joking aside, there was a significant shift from the popularity of pet shops in the 1960s to 1970s to the surge of sex stores during that same period.

Even to this day, Tib Street is famously known for its abundance of sex shops that are not shy to show themselves in public. While remaining in the more discreet areas of the street, you can find various pornographic and explicit stores everywhere. 

Tib Street is also not limited to sex shops as the place is also popular with sex workers as well. While said shift is considerably drastic, one element still remains and that is its ‘wild’ nature— but for different reasons, of course. 

Famous TV series Peaky Blinders was filmed in Manchester 

Famous TV series Peaky Blinders was filmed in Manchester's Homepage
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

While not necessarily in Tib Street, popular drama series, Peaky Blinders, is filmed in Manchester for the most part. The series is set in Birmingham, but most of the scenes you see in the show are actually shot in Manchester. 

More specifically, Peaky Blinders is filmed in Castlefield, Manchester, which is not far from Tib Street at all. In fact, when the actors were filmed in industrial-looking places, you can be almost certain that from afar, Tib Street was included in most scenes. 

Tib Street’s Artistic Big Horn

Tib Street's Artistic Big Horn's Homepage
Image credit: David Dixon 

Aside from Tib Street’s popularity for its pet shops and explicit stores, it’s also an art centre that houses some of Manchester’s greatest artistic monuments. Its most prominent structure is the Big Horn which stands out in the street’s square. 

In 1999, it was finally finished after going through extensive design changes. Ultimately, the structure is seen wrapping around an abandoned building that’s located between Tib and Church Streets. 

To this day, the monument is set as a reminder that Tib Street is also a place for creativity. This inspired dozens of street graffiti sprayed around the remains of old buildings and construction that make the place look more appealing to tourists.  

Tib Street’s Amazing Transformation

Tib street dates all the way back in the early 18th century, but the whole Northern Quarter and its subordinate avenues already existed way before that in mediaeval times. 

Tib Street's Amazing Transformation's Homepage

Manchester is the centrepiece of the Industrial Revolution and you can see here the early developments of the Northern Quarter. While it is known today as an important relic of our history, the early beginnings of this period was not the kindest to its workers and civilians. 

Buildings and establishments weren’t formed back then, and all you can see across the streets are the thick smoke that comes out from the huge factories nearby. Now, Tib Street looks beautiful with grand sceneries and colourful facades from local businesses. 

The first modern residential development in the Northern Quarter occurred in Tib Street

Today, Tib Street is crowded with bars, bakeries, florist shops, and pornography stores. But back in the 1970s, the first modern residential development in the Northern Quarter occurred in Tib Street when the Smithfield Gardens housing estate was constructed. 

The first modern residential development in the Northern Quarter occurred in Tib Street's Homepage
Image credit: Jill Burdett 

This is the Smithfield Gardens housing estate today. Locals pass by every time, and just behind it are recreational and business areas that you should definitely visit. 

It really hasn’t changed all that much!

What’s amazing is Tib Street hasn’t changed all that much since the 1970s. Below is a picture of Yates’s on Tib Street in 1974.

It really hasn't changed all that much's Homepage
Image credit: Chris Callaghan

The buildings from corner to corner don’t look that much different from today as well, which begs the question: Do Tib Street structures need some sort of improvement?

I’ll leave that answer to you. But personally, I think they look incredible. If you think the pictures look good, wait till you see these amazing establishments in person— take my word for it. 

Just for good measure, here’s another old picture of Tib Street. This time, it’s during the 1960s where several pet shops still ran rampant.

It really hasn't changed all that much
Image credit: Manchester Libraries

A Day at Tib Street: Things You Have to Do While Visiting

Just like any other streets and small towns in Manchester, Tib Street has loads of areas and attractions for you to visit. Throughout the years, the changes in scenery and culture also deserve some attention. 

Speaking for myself, Tib Street is the best place in Manchester for leisure. For someone who continues to make time to wander and find my inner peace, this street has loads of things to do and places to visit. 

But to make this a little more interesting, here’s what I personally do on a normal day when strolling by the Northern Quarter. 

Wake Up to a Morning Coffee in a Local Café

Wake Up to a Morning Coffee in a Local Café's Homepage
Image credit: Jilson Tiu

To kick off a beautiful day, I usually grab a cup of coffee in one of the street’s most daring cafés. I can point to two best recommendations to start your coffee morning breaks: Just Between Friends and Siop Shop. 

Just Between Friends is everyone’s go-to coffee shop, and I can attest that it’s probably the best option if you want a relaxing and ambient morning. From the furniture to the music selections, this café is the sweet spot for both leisure and productivity. 

You can sit comfortably on their luxurious-looking couches or hang out by their coffee counter where you can have a casual chat with one of their welcoming baristas. 

On the other hand, Siop Shop may not look as classy as Just Between Friends, but there sure are a lot more options when it comes to pastries. The Siop Shop prides itself in their wide selections of Manchester’s best tastes. 

Wake Up to a Morning Coffee in a Local Café
Image credit: deadpledge 

From the jelly donut to homemade croissants, there’s plenty of variety to go around when brunching at the Siop Shop. 

But for me, you can go to either of these two as they have a plenty to offer in terms of a good time and delicious food— not to mention, amazing coffee. 

Into music? Feel the beats at Beatin’ Rhythm Records 

Into music Feel the beats at Beatin' Rhythm Records' Homepage
Image credits: Snapwire 

I love music, and I question anyone who doesn’t. I also consider myself as an old soul which means I appreciate vinyl records played in vintage record players. 

If you’re the same as me, then you should definitely stop by Tib Street’s Beatin’ Rhythm Records. The store has a gallery of vintage records that range from multiple genres of music you can find. 

Anywhere from funk, jazz, modern rock, to pop music are available for purchase. What’s better is they are affordable as well. 

But if you’re not interested in buying some for yourself, being inside the shop is mesmerising in and of itself, anyway. You can even play some music using the store owners’ record players and listen to quality tunes all day. 

At the very least, the store would look aesthetically pleasing for your Instagram page and blog posts if you’re a creative person who wants to showcase the best parts of the Northern Quarter. 

Did someone say Mexican food? Lunch at Wolf at the Door

Did someone say Mexican food Lunch at Wolf at the Door's Homepage
Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

Granted, there are dozens of English diners at Tib Street where you can eat some of the most delicious English lunches in the country. However, I’ll stick with my first pick of the best one in my opinion which happens to be a Mexican restaurant. 

Wolf at the Door serves tasty Mexican cuisines that are perfect for any casual gatherings. I love comfort dishes, and this place is packed with the most satisfying home-cooked meals while still offering gourmet-like tastes and aesthetics. 

What I love more about it is the food (food tasting experience manchester) is relatively affordable too! This is easily one of the best-valued restaurants at Tib Street while still maintaining quality food and experience for its customers. 

Paddle it up at the Twenty Twenty Two ping pong joint

Paddle it up at the Twenty Twenty Two ping pong joint's Homepage
ping-pong bar (1016)” (CC BY 2.0) by The D34n

Ask any local around for their opinion on which bars are the best, and they’ll immediately refer you to Twenty Twenty Two. Unlike any pub in the city, Twenty Twenty Two is a fun ping pong joint where you and your friends can go rounds and play. 

Twenty Twenty Two is situated underground where you can find an alley of at least four to five ping pong tables with players paddling. On top of that, you can cosy yourself on their Chesterfield furniture and have a few drinks while watching others have fun. 

If you haven’t tried ping pong before, now’s the best time to try it here. I’m not one who can beat anyone in the game, but I sure have had a lot of fun when given the chance to visit the bar. 

NQ64: A Place of Nostalgia and Video Games

NQ64 A Place of Nostalgia and Video Games' Homepage
Yestercades, Somerville, NJ 5/3/15” (CC BY 2.0) by goodrob13

During my free time, I often grab my Nintendo Switch to play some casual video games. However, I prefer to be active outdoors and be social around people.

NQ64 is the best of both worlds that satisfies my indoor and outgoing needs. If you fancy some nostalgic arcade games with your friends, this place is the perfect avenue for you!

The arcade store is brimming with neon lights everywhere that sort of reminds me of laser tag emporiums I used to visit before. The place is oozing with creativity and fun, and being inside this time-capsule is a joy to behold. 

While it may seem like an arcade for kids, NQ64 leans more towards the adult market by offering gaming-themed cocktails and alcoholic beverages to enhance your overall experience. 

NQ64 A Place of Nostalgia and Video Games
Manchester Tib Street” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Admanchester

There’s no doubt about it that Tib Street has a lot more to offer when stopping by Manchester. From its independent shops to its trendy restaurants and bars, Tib Street masterfully has something in store for everyone.

Now that you know more about Tib Street’s incredible history, immerse yourself in the wonders of what the Northern Quarter has to offer during your next visit!

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