Runway Visitor Park At Manchester Airport

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Although Manchester Airport isn’t our nearest airport it is the biggest one in the north of England. Flights depart and arrive continuously throughout the day, so Manchester Airport plane spotting makes for a relatively cheap few hours out (and very happy children!). We can’t help but pop down when we are in the area and leave super depressed that we aren’t on one of those planes taking off but if you too want a ‘plane fix’ here’s everything you need to know about the Runway Visitor Park

Manchester Airport Plane Spotting

runway visitor park manchester airport sign

Ever since the children were small there has been just one viewing place that we’ve ever headed to; the runway pub, also known as The Airport Pub, on Ringway Road.

Although our most recent trip was no different as we headed there first; we saw very few aeroplanes taking off due to what looked like ongoing work on the tarmac.

I knew that there was another Manchester Airport viewing area around the site somewhere but having never been I had no idea where about it was or how far away it was from our usual spot at the Airport Pub.

map and directions from the airport pub to the runway visitor park

Google Maps told us that it was actually in a similar position to our usual spot at the pub but just a little further down the airfield, so just 10/15 minutes later we had arrived at the Runway Visitor Park.

How to Get To The Runway Visitor Park:

The Runway Visitor Park is located on Sunbank Lane and not far from the terminals themselves at Manchester Airport.

Address & postcode of the viewing park:
Sunbank Lane
WA15 8XQ

Opening times vary month by month but the main park for viewing is open every day at 8am. Entrance is free to the plane spotting area however you must pay for parking and 3 out of 5 aircrafts tours are at an additional cost.

Parking Cost at Manchester Airport Visitor Park

At the time of writing Car and motorbike parking charges are as follows:

  • £5 up to 2 hours
  • £10 for 2 hours up to 4 hours
  • £12 for all stays over 4 hours

If you are going to regularly visit the Visitor Park then you may well want to invest in a Multi-Entry Pass that is only available to purchase in person at the Runway Visitor Park reception. The Multi-Entry pass can reduce your parking to £2 per visit so it’s certainly worth it if you think you will be going often.

What is the view like at The Runway Aviation Park?

Unfortunately, the Manchester Airport spectator terrace (which was actually just a raised viewing mound covered in grass that had been there for many years!) was out of action meaning views are now obstructed by high fences and will be for the foreseeable as they are creating a brand new, state-of-the-art private terminal for VIP users.

building, diggers and scaffolding of the new VIP private terminal

That being said, although we can’t really compare it to what it was like before, we thought the views were pretty good! The planes were taxiing having just landed, meters away from both the picnic and kids play area but it’s highly unlikely you can get an unobstructed view from any park of the Visitor Park to be fair (I have been told have been made taller in the last 6/9 months!)

Things to do

Although we didn’t go inside nor tour any aircraft other than the plane outside there is certainly enough there for a good couple of hours.

There is a big grassed area and picnic tables too so feel free to take your own food. There was also a play area for the kids, fast food/ice cream van and a small area behind the Concorde hanger that you could pay to go on one or two rides.

If you do want to sit down and grab a bite to eat or a drink whilst you are there you can do so inside the conference centre.

Concorde Tour

This Manchester aviation park also gives you the chance to board Concorde, see the luxurious leather seats and learn about some of the aircraft’s famous passengers. You can even sit in the pilots seat and discover some of the unique features that made Concorde so special!

Concorde Conference Centre and Tour Centre Reception sign on side of hanger


The classic tour that includes the above is £15 per person.

The technical tour that includes all of the above and extended time in the flight deck is priced at £24 per person.

This tour gives you the biggest opportunity for you to marvel at Concorde’s unique aviation engineering and includes a guided tour underneath the aircraft too explores the ground breaking technology behind the supersonic airliner!

There is also a VIP tour that offers the ultimate Concorde experience at £35 per person (at the time of writing). It also includes as above, a full tour of the cabin and flight deck as well as ample photography opportunities and extra time with your knowledgeable Guides. You even get to enjoy a celebratory glass of champagne or Orange Juice!

Concorde is not the only tour you can do at the visitor park though! You can tour Nimrod or even join Flight Academy!

I’d love to hear if you’ve been to the Runway Visitor Park at Manchester Airport.. what did you think? Drop me a comment down below.

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pin with thomas cook airline picture and 'Manchester airport plane spotting park'

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About The Money Saving Mum

About The Money Saving Mum

I've always been financially savvy but when the kids came along I needed to up my game! Our finances and priorities changed overnight and it felt like I was spending money as if it was going out of fashion! I needed to start earning extra money just to make ends meet and continuously make sure we got the most out of every single penny we had! Sound familiar? Keep reading... I'm sharing my story to help people like you!




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