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Unofficial Museum Guide


 

Key Facts

Location:
Manchester Airport, Greater Manchester
SatNav: Region:
WA15 8XQ North West
Country:
United Kingdom
Admission:
Public
Category: Only Aviation:
Viewing Area Yes
Aircraft Exhibits: Status:
circa. 5 Open

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What’s Here

The purpose-built Visitor Park has a Visitor Centre and a growing collection of aircraft exhibits. Particularly useful here are the three raised viewing platforms, which offer good views of the active runways and taxying aircraft. Note that Concorde is now displayed in a dedicated glass-fronted hangar, and guided tours can be booked for an additional fee.

This attraction was formerly known as the Manchester Airport Aviation Viewing Park. The original Aviation Viewing Park that opened in May 1992 was moved to the present location in May 1997 to allow space for the second runway.

Directions

From Junction 6 on the M56, take the A538 towards Wilmslow. After about half a mile appears ‘The Romper’ public house on the left. Turn left here down Sunbank Lane, then right onto Wilmslow Old Road at the bottom, and follow the road to the gate entrance.

Visiting

Opening Hours:

Open daily 08.00 am to dusk; Closed 25 December (Christmas Day).

Admission:

See official website for details. Tours of Concorde are charged in addition to the entry fee to the Visitor Park. If you are interested in a tour please phone 08715 22 11 00 (calls are charged) as tour places are limited.

Amenities:

Parking, Cafe, Toilets, Souvenir shop, Picnic area, Access for disabled visitors.


Vampire T.11 XD624 (photo, Phillip Evans) Avro RJX-100 G-IRJX (photo, Phillip Evans)

List of Aircraft Exhibits

Displayed I.D. Aircraft Type Real Identity Condition Status
G-BOAC Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde 102 G-BOAC Complete Displayed
G-IRJX Avro RJX-100 G-IRJX Complete Displayed
G-AWZK Hawker Siddeley Trident 3B-101 G-AWZK Complete Displayed
XV231 Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR.2 XV231 Complete Displayed
G-DMCA McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 G-DMCA Nose Displayed

Notes: Vampire T.11 XD624 is now with the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

More Information

Runway Visitor Park, Manchester Airport, Sunbank Lane, Altrincham, WA15 8XQ. Tel: 0161 489 3932. website: Official Viewing Park Website.


Concorde G-BOAC (photo, Phillip Evans) Concorde front view (photo, Phillip Evans)
DC-10-30 nose (photo, Phillip Evans) Display board (photo, Phillip Evans)

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100 Comments

  • By Warren Home, 21 March 2011 @ 5:20 pm

    I’m glad that I have read all of these comments, as I was just accessing info on opening hours etc in lieu of visiting with my wife and father-in-law who is visiting from Kent this week.
    I have now decided not to visit as I will never support extortionism and greed out of principle and I strongly suggest that anyone else who feels the same to do likewise. As long as people will pay it, they will continue to charge it and it is woeful and/or arrogant management that doesn’t reverse the ridiculous decision and allows greed to generate so much disgust from people who have been stalwart supporters of the aviation park for so long.
    I have to say, that I have never seen such a passionate outcry, where virtually all of the comments which have been left, are united in their disagreement of a ridiculous decision, which clearly has greed at its roots above all other reasons.
    Greed is fast becoming a way of life in this country, what a shame that whoever manages the aviation park cannot think for themselves and feel the urge to follow rather than lead the way.

  • By Jay86, 8 April 2011 @ 9:28 am

    I was just looking for information on opening times etc to bring my family but after finding about the new rediculous parking charges that have been introduced I will not be visiting today ir any other day. The facilities do not match the prices being charged and it is just another way to prevent lower income families being able to visit. I will happily spend £12 or more for a family day out but it will not be to park on a bit of waste grounnd with poor facilities. Corporate greed strikes again.

  • By desmond donovan, 15 April 2011 @ 3:36 pm

    people are right,in what they are saying,about the charge,£3 for an hour,its a joke.

  • By Alan WIlson, 17 April 2011 @ 4:58 pm

    I came here a lot up to about a year ago and was contemplating another visit. Shocked to see the increase in parking prices which will certainly deter me coming as frequently as I did. But put into context, £ 12 for a day out and what’s on offer is pretty good by todays standards, and I can think of many other attractions that would swallow £ 12 in a fraction of the time. I think the old parking prices were an abosolute gift. The new prices are, in all fairness, still good value. But I understand it being a kick in the teeth to regulars.

  • By chuck, 23 April 2011 @ 7:13 pm

    i also will not be visiting again.

    its ok some of you saying £12 all day isnt too bad but I disagree, £12 for just parking on shingle is extortion.

    Another example of rip off britain.

  • By david, 24 April 2011 @ 6:35 am

    I have to say I’m not happy to read about having to pay more today when we take our little boy but let’s be honest when they spent all that money on the place it was only ever going to be us that paid for it!! So when I hear someone say they were prepared to pay for fuel to do a 300mile round trip but not 12quid to park it makes me laugh, my little boy is 2 and a half years old and loves aircraft so am I going to tell him daddy won’t pay so you can’t go??? No hope to see you there!

  • By Connor, 2 May 2011 @ 8:29 am

    Well i am going today i cant wait really i said i would go with ma mum and ma dad but no i am going my self im taking a picnic might by a new! model plane. p.s I am a plane collecter i have 29 planes in my room naigbours think i am a loon but they can flip right off i hope to see you there bye and enjoy the holidays.

  • By Mike Alton, 5 May 2011 @ 4:00 am

    No way i shall be coming again, for a good day out and its FREE. R.A.F Cosford Museum, Shifnal Shropshire easy to get there cafe is reasonable priced. Kids would love it loads to seen and do. Post code TF11 8UP for sat nav directions or simply Google it.

  • By Den Parker, 10 May 2011 @ 6:39 pm

    mmm, couldn’t agree more with greed. £3 an hour or £12 all day to park, when it used to be £5 to park all day is disgusting. But compare it with the alternatives:-
    A day at Alton Towers = £31.68 for adult..£24.48 for children, and you spend most of the day stood in a queue.
    A trip to the cinema = around £11 each, plus popcorn, drinks etc, to see an over hyped movie that turns out to be rubbish.
    For a full day out, £12 still takes some beating!

  • By andrea and bernard, 13 May 2011 @ 10:43 am

    Going back about 14 years..this aviation park was a piece of forgotten ground ..where avid spotters would meet through their love of planes..totally free of charge!! then the council found out and decided to ‘make’ a proper aviation park..where they now charge you an arm and a leg!! its all about money money money…nothing is free anymore even though the spotters made the park what it is today..

  • By cliff & christina, 7 June 2011 @ 7:02 pm

    re visit last friday 3/6/11 had a great day good to see the emirates A380 arrive as not seen it before
    it is still the best viewing place and for photography
    despite the £12 cost
    cliff&christina derby

  • By boeingmad, 27 June 2011 @ 11:42 am

    with regards to the price increase we normaly park i the romper the pub at the end of the road and then walk up to the park it takes about 5 to 10 mins walk but its wel worth it as u dont get charged to get in if u walk
    regards boeing mad

  • By diane mccarthy, 8 August 2011 @ 3:15 pm

    after reading about the prices ,me and my family wont be going , what a rip off

  • By paul cowlishaw, 14 August 2011 @ 4:06 pm

    what can you buy for £12 nowadays?not a lot we shall still be going tomorrow see ya there

  • By Rick, 17 August 2011 @ 1:27 pm

    Ah well more kids on the streets now with nothing to do only more mischief. Governments can can complain about the youth of today and how they are always always up to no good. Shame that low income families will be stopped from what was a cheap family day out. Nothing is this country is for free whenever a plot of land becomes popular with an activity councils will see pound signs.

  • By patrick, 19 August 2011 @ 5:26 pm

    I agree with Paul with his comment above, £12 isnt that much for a good 4 hour session and the truth is, what else would you spend the £12 on? not alot really. I remember going when you just paid the one fee for entering which was good and i do agree that the hourly thing is a bit preasurizing and annoying but £12 isnt that much considering your right at the forefront of the airport with all eyes access on the aircraft. If your a keen plane spotter you will love the viewing park

  • By Phil Goodwin, 19 August 2011 @ 8:58 pm

    I took my 5 year old grandson to the viewing park on Wednesday (17th August 2011) for his first and only visit. The car park charges are an absolute rip off (£3 per hour to park on waste ground). When leaving, because of the tiered charges, payment is on exit and we queued for almost half an hour to get out adding an extra £3 to our fee. Won’t be going back but obviously this has been going on for over a year so don’t expect anything to be done about it. Thanks for ruining what used to be a great day out

  • By planemad, 21 August 2011 @ 11:25 pm

    if your a real plane enthusiast you would pay the £3 a hour but if u dont want to pay you can always go to the pub at the end of the runway its up to you dont blame people for not paying but dont also blame people for going

  • By anon, 25 August 2011 @ 9:17 am

    can you bring your dogs here?

  • By SteveB, 25 August 2011 @ 2:47 pm

    I got stung with the new prices after to telling my 4 year old we were going for the day as we’d always done. We stayed less than an hour due to this incredible price increase! I have never been back since. I used to go when it was just a couple of grass mounds and you could spend long summer days there, now through greedy corporate idiots they have ruined it all! They will probably ignore these comments as the corporate tours will line their coffers and I will now have to stand on the fence at the end of the runway!! What a shame as this viewing park used to be great the way it was!

  • By Katie, 28 August 2011 @ 6:39 pm

    A great day out the views of the aircraft are amazing,I had a lovely day out and thoroughly enjoyed it until I exited the car park that is,£3 per hour is just extortion and to add insult to injury the car park is just waste ground!.
    My advice would be to park outside and walk in that way the rip off car park charges can be avoided,that is what I intend to do on my next visit.

  • By Tupolev the great!!, 28 August 2011 @ 6:49 pm

    A truely amazing day out for any aircraft enthusiast,the parking charges however are an absolute rip off, the person or people responsible for charging just a little less than the national minimum wage for the privalage of parking on waste ground should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves as their corporate greed has denied many low income families of an amazing day out.

  • By kai, 11 September 2011 @ 6:31 pm

    please sort the car park charge out

  • By Little cake fairy, 24 September 2011 @ 8:30 am

    I was going to visit but on reading the reviews about parking, I wont be bothering. In case the owners hadn’t heard, there is a recession on – it begs the question, do they actually want people to visit? I will be finding my own plane spotting experience somewhere else.

  • By Andy, 26 September 2011 @ 12:34 pm

    Used to go fairly regularly, but won’t be going now thanks to the exorbitant charges. Probably encourage people to go and park on other perimeter roads (or go to the pub instead).

  • By Janice, 19 October 2011 @ 3:36 pm

    My friend and I are regular visitors. We arrive at 9am and don’t leave till 4pm – that’s £6 each for 7 hours of pure, unadulterated pleasure! I don’t think that’s bad at all and we will continue to visit when we can.

  • By andy m, 27 October 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    Have taken the kids here about 3 times over the summer hols and once this half term,£12 is the max you will pay for parking even if you stay all day (£3 per hour upto 4 hours)and with a playpark for them and aircraft to walk round ,plus the shop who always manages to get some of my money, cafe is good and not expencive though we have taken our own food too, bit of a bargain if you make a day of it.
    If youre only going for a couple of hours it does seem a lot for parking (i go on my own now and again)but not a lot compared to other attractions.

  • By KEN OF CREWE, 3 December 2011 @ 10:23 pm

    For myself–disabled legs badly and hav e to drive in the charge is extortion. Two or more in a car makes the charge reasonab le. For one person its extortion. I think its illegal as it discriminates -the charge should be per person. O ne single driver should not have to pay more than another person.

  • By Duncan, 11 February 2012 @ 3:00 am

    Fantastic range of views here. I wonder if the council, or whoever really is in charge, has done their sums properly; and I wonder if they did any market research before increasing their prices?

    You can see that a lot of genuine plane spotters have been alienated and driven away from coming here and that’s a shame.

    I use MAN a lot but have never been spotting there yet.

    I am currently enjoying being in an hotel that is on the flight path of a big and busy international airport: A380 and all!!

    By the way, ladies and gents, please use your spell checkers before posting!

    Duncan

  • By jeffers, 4 March 2012 @ 9:08 pm

    I was browsing the airport website and thought I would enquire about the veiwing area. I visited many years ago which then I think was £3.00 ALLDAY.I live on the Wirral which is a 40 minute drive which means I would not come for just an hour at a cost that used to let you stay allday.If the extra increase is to cover the cost of the static aircraft then shouldnt there be a seperate charge for those who want to veiw those aircraft?.I do feel very sad about the increase because reading all the comments makes me feel that people just want to see real life aeroplanes close up for a reasonable price. Its bad enough paying over the odds for parking at the local shops. No matter what people say this type of increase wil stay in place unfortunately for us its just another day at the office and nothing will change.

  • By david, 7 March 2012 @ 7:43 pm

    anyone know the price for viewing at the park i have no car email me thanks

  • By walt, 15 April 2012 @ 9:12 am

    should have voted labour… theres a pub nearby could leave your car there

  • By Vicky and Family, 29 April 2012 @ 6:39 pm

    We have had a great day here today, yes the car park is overpriced, but you can’t do many things for £6.00 with a family. We have had 2 hours of fun in the pouring rain, took a picnic and even got a wave off a Ryan air pilot, will definitely be going again!! Well done to Manchester Airport for making it child friendly and fun.

  • By phil hunter, 20 May 2012 @ 9:12 am

    i love this place because of all the plans and were goin ibiza 15 days on a jet ow ya c ya later guys

  • By michael haydon, 23 May 2012 @ 5:39 pm

    Im a disabled person who Lives in Blackpool, But Its actually cheaper to go by train straight to Man Airport from Blackpool North Station. and get an airport taxi to the viewing area For a fiver, as a pedestrian, using my fold up scooter. My disabled rail card gets me to Manchester Airport for £11. I just have to pay the taxi to and from park. Dinner at restaurant is tasty & reasonable. Only the cafe at other end has no facilities for the likes of me, to try and stand 10-20 mins waiting for a take away chip or bacon butty, The lack of seating in there makes it look very cheap and tacky, & I certainly dont patronise it, and would rather see it go, and replaced by something bigger and better access for disabled people, waiting to be served in a huge queue, especially at weekends.

    It is dear for vehicles for the whole day, I agree somewhat, but have you ever tried to watch planes this close at Gatwick & Heathrow? There viewing areas have been in lockdown many years because of terrorists IRA back in eighties. Be thankful This unique Viewing park is one of the last true Aircraft viewing parks left.

  • By sharonbird, 26 May 2012 @ 10:47 am

    i havnt been here for 6 years but will be going very soon £3 an hour to park is brill price an its a fantastic place everyone needs to go there more, spend what you have to spend i think its good value for what you see and do there !!

  • By sharonbird, 26 May 2012 @ 4:33 pm

    WELL I JUST GOT BACK FROM HERE WHAT AN AMAZING PLACE SO MUCH FOR KIDS TO SEE AND DO MY BOYS LOVED IT ONLY COST £3 AN HOUR NOTHING TO MOAN ABOUT IT WAS FANTASIC IT CAN BE AS EXPENSIVE AS YOU WANT IT TO BE, I SUGGEST EVERYONE TAKE YOUR KIDS THERE AND WATCH THERE FACES THEY’LL LOVE IT X

  • By Andrew Ledson, 25 November 2012 @ 12:57 pm

    I have just read the comments whilst looking for an afternoon out. I have used the viewing platform many times. But not at that price! I would suggest people try Manchester Air Museum, which is free.

  • By Robert Kinder, 15 September 2013 @ 9:21 pm

    I used to go to the airport in the 70’s as a school boy aircraft spotting and loved the original viewing terrace.but closing it down because of all the rubbish about security risks. if the airport improved security at the original Turnstiles people would be willing to pay to use the terraces. I am looking to start a partion to get the terraces back open if anyone agrees with me I would be happy with your response

  • By RICHARD, 2 June 2014 @ 9:16 am

    Any one know the price for a motorcycle please ????? and would the owners like to make a comment on why the price is so high !

  • By Steve Innes, 21 June 2014 @ 5:29 pm

    Does anyone know if a motorbike is charged per hour, the same as a car ????? as usually any parking for motorbikes is free ! any pay and display is free because people knick your unsecured ticket.

  • By Allan Cooper, 4 August 2014 @ 4:01 pm

    Attempted to re-visit Concord after 6 years . Used my GPS to get there , the signage off the main road is pathetic, Aviation Navigation Standards would have it grounded, found the entrance to the Concord exhibit, only to be told the last tour had departed and it was closed for the day, At
    4.10PM ( Well before dusk as advertised ) on a beautiful summer afternoon!
    Together with the parking fees it was a Jumbo Disappointment

  • By Ray, 21 May 2015 @ 8:13 am

    £12 for a full day at the airport or £40 to watch 22 millionaire prima donnas kick a ball around a field? No contest really.

  • By sam, 23 May 2015 @ 9:39 am

    beautiful place but prices are soo stupid. it was never that expensive. they really need to sort their prices out.
    not happy

  • By Lee, 28 May 2015 @ 9:34 pm

    reading some of these reviews my god there’s some really tight arse folks about, yes car park charge is over the top but I look at it as£12 for a family day out it don’t seem too bad at all to me considering it costs me about £50 to take kids to cinema for an hour or two. Some folk have no idea of costs of running places like that. All in all it was worth every penny.

  • By mike Haydon, 12 July 2015 @ 6:15 pm

    Going back for my once a year visit from Blackpool Wednesday with my fold down electric scooter in back. Used to go by Transpennine Express and a £5 taxi each way from Airport, but The tight Transpennine Express axed the Blackpool – Manchester Airport service. God knows why?, always a long queue from Blackpool North Station. So with no direct route, have to use the car and pay the £12, but with the petrol and eating, its still an expensive day out, if you dont live near the place, and in all fairness,its not like your paying for some product, your just paying a lot of money to watch many regional Airlines, with the same old A320’s. How I miss my Heathrow days, watching a Myriad of liveries and Aircraft types. My spend is £65 for the day, thats a lot for one person, with no parking concession rates for disability or being an OAP. I think they think most pensioners have a lot of money,I only wish, which is why I can only afford the trip once a year now.

  • By Michael Tinker, 2 August 2015 @ 5:17 pm

    i go every Friday and have done since April last year i use public transport to get there and take my own food and drink most time i spent there is 9 hours thats how much i like it

  • By lee, 29 August 2015 @ 9:34 am

    hi can you take small dogs to the viewing park many thanks
    regards from lee

  • By bridget gibbons, 30 August 2015 @ 8:53 am

    can you get a bus from manchester to the runway veiwing park please

  • By Michael Tinker, 28 September 2015 @ 9:30 am

    Bridget yes service 200 leaves airport bus stn at 16 mins past hour and from viewing park 25 mins past if nor delyaed by traffic it is in cheshire connet green livery

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