Discover the history of the Northern Quarter

Discover the history of the Northern Quarter

The Northern Quarter as we know it today hasn’t always looked the same. In the late 1700’s it was laid out like a grid system, similar to an American city. It was the only area in Manchester with this layout which was purpose-built for industrial reasons, as NQ was on the cusp of the industrial revolution.


Despite ongoing developments in the area, Northern Quarter is still home to many industrial buildings relating to the cotton industry, and some old houses still stand. In fact, these houses are some of the oldest buildings in the Northern Quarter - small, one-room up and down terraces with records of up to 16 people living in them.


NQ was the home of the Old Smithfield Market in the 1960s, a popular destination for buying fresh fruit and veg, meat, fish and flowers. Still to this day, the area is the perfect spot for picking up local produce and supporting small businesses.

Explore the best of what the Northern Quarter has to offer

Post industrialisation, the Northern Quarter is now designated as the young people’s area. The streets are lined with bohemian bars, independent record shops, galleries and vintage clothing shops. Vibrant and creative street art can be spotted from every corner, which helps it retain its unique character and charm.


Ideally situated in the heart of the city, the Northern Quarter is bustling and lively thanks to its easy access to train stations, trams and buses, making it an easy commute. It attracts a great cross-section of people due to the range of services and products on offer. The area is steeped in history and home to some of the most iconic Manchester pubs which helped develop the music careers of some of the city’s most successful artists. For music lovers, this is something we can explore on our Manchester taxi tour.

Explore the best of what the Northern Quarter has to offer

electric black cab in castlefield

How our Northern Quarter tour works

Once your tour has been booked and arranged, we will pick you up from an arranged location in our electric black cab before embarking on a 3-4 hours tour of the city centre.


We are not strict on time, nor are we strict on the tour itinerary. If there are certain landmarks or topics that you would like us to cover in detail, please let us know when you book your tour.

To enquire about our availability, please contact us here.

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