Manchester Airport Runway Visitor Park

When we finally booked for our family holiday to Florida, it occured to me that Poppy and Freya had never been near a plane, never mind flow across the ocean for 10 hours.

So I hatched this idea to take them to an airport and let them have a look around and get a taste of what goes off there and see some real planes in all their glory.

Looking around, there aren’t many airports these days that encourage spectators, or even have facilities for them, and as we were flying from Manchester I thought I would check them out too.   I’m glad I did, because what I found exactly fit the bill.

Not only did they have a really nice viewing point with a restaurant and shop, and of course one of the few Concorde exhibitions, but they also operated “flight academies” aimed at children in two age ranges.

Poppy is older than her years so I decided to enrol them on the older course, which is held inside the front section of an old Monarch airliner. A member of their staff led through a history of flight with a few example models, and then introduced the children on the course to the various roles that made a busy airport tick. The children did a bit of role play, with some dressed as firemen, Poppy ended up being the Captain and freya looked just the part as an Emirates Flight Attendant.

After a quick visit to the cockpit, we left the academy session for a tour around Concorde -I’m not sure who was most excited – the girls or me!One thing was for sure – they were under no illusions what it was like to be on the inside of an airplane, and that’s exactly what I had hoped to achieve. Mission accomplished!

To book a tour, head to and select Tours from the menu.

You can also see a video of our time there on our YouTube channel


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