Earlier in the year I attended a conference in Manchester and I chose to stay at the airport because I knew that I would get parking, could take the train into town and that I would get a cheaper room than in the city centre.
I wrote about my time at the pub next to the runway here, and recommended it as a great place for a little lay over.
Slightly further away, but also possible to do with a few hours’ layover is Concorde. Manchester Airport Runway Visitor Park is at the other end of the runway from the pub and has a whole range of things to keep any plane spotter happy.
I booked the classic Concorde tour, lasting about 40 minutes and costing £13.50. I would have liked to have done a longer visit, but this was the only one that would fit in with my schedule.
It was incredible to get up close to such an iconic aircraft, and to see how small it actually is – I had to bend down to get in!
The seats were no where near as spacious as business class is now, but when the flight was only 3 or 4 hours, it would be fine.
We were allowed to sit in the seats and were given a menu to peruse.
Finally, we were taken in pairs into the cockpit which was so small I was unable to stand up, and also full of so many buttons, switches and dials it was amazing that the crew knew what to do!
It was incredible to spend time in this icon, and to be able to sit, touch and experience parts of this living museum. What really struck me was how passionate the staff were about the aircraft and how willing they were to share their enthusiasm with the group.
I would certainly recommend this to anyone who is in the area and has an interest in aircraft.