15 February 2024

Things to Do in Manchester - Runway Visitor Park

I've spent a total of 10 years working at an airport, and I do miss it sometimes. I admit to being a big kid at heart, and I love a bit of plane spotting - I'd sometimes go outside during my breaks, and just watch the planes take off and land while I was eating my lunch. 

Where we live now, we can see the planes descending towards Manchester Airport while we walk down the street, and sometimes even find ourselves directly under the approach path when we visit Stockport - if timed well, you can have the Emirates' A380 flying just over your head!

My kids also enjoy watching planes, and if we're in a spot where they fly low enough above our heads, they enjoy spotting which airlines the planes belong to. And there's an even better way to watch planes in Manchester - the Runway Visitor Park.

Located just a short drive from the Manchester Airport, adjacent to the runway, it offers a viewing area just a few metres away from the planes! You'll be able to spot anything from smaller Ryanair and EasyJet planes to major international carriers like British Airways, Air Canada, or KLM, and even the Emirates' huge A380 which always attracts a crowd.

The park provides a large fenced area for watching the planes on the runway. There's a raised viewing area closer to the terminal, which is where you get closest to the plane as they taxi to and from the runway. Beyond that, you'll find a grass-covered space along the runway, with picnic tables scattered around, and a plane-themed playground.

If you're in need of refreshments, there's a café with indoor seating, and a smaller building next door holds a souvenir shop and toilet facilities.

For those looking for something more than just plane spotting from the side, the Park offers a variety of tours and experiences. While wandering around, you can have a look at the AVRO RJX - the last aircraft to be fully made in the UK, forward section of Monarch plane, or take a peek inside the Trident which was the first airplane to make a fully automated approach and landing.

There are guided tours available too - you can choose between exploring the famous Concorde or retired RAF Nimrod, or go and see both. 

Youngest plane enthusiasts can enjoy one of the Flight Academy Airport Life tours, suitable for kids 4+ (there are two groups available, for ages 4-7 and 8-12). Children get to go on board the Monarch DC-10, learn about various job roles at the airport, and even be a pilots for a bit - at the end they even get a certificate for completing the Academy.

Thrill seekers can try out the Fly 360 simulator, where you can have a go at flying an aircraft yourself (for ages 9+).

The Runway Visitor Park is free to visit, but there are car park charges - £5 for up to 2 hours, £10 for up to 4 hours, and £12 for over 4 hours (prices correct at the time of writing). The car park charge is included in the price of some of the paid tours. 

For more information about opening times (varying depending on the season), current prices and bookings, visit the Runway Visitor Park Website, and check the airport website for departures and arrivals so you can spot the best planes.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated and manually approved by me before appearing on the site - please be patient. Abusive language and spam will not be tolerated.