Photo community for Plane Finder and Ship Finder

Planespotting - Manchester

Thanks to Kelvin Davies for providing the content (and pictures!) for this page.

Possibly the best place in England for photographing planes.

This airport has 2 parallel runways but the southern one operates on a part time basis, usually open from before dawn to around 10:00, although times appear to be variable with no warning.

You can access our interactive map below..

Probably the best location is the one marked "South Side spotting 1".

This is on a raised area less than 150 yards from the end of the southern runway (23L) and approximately 500 yards from the northern runway (23R).

Being raised, this spot has the advantage of putting you above the perimeter fence.

Also on the south side, there is an excellent track along the airport perimeter, although this involves a walk of around 1 mile with a couple of pretty steep climbs up and down around the River Bollin valley (splendid scenery though!)

If you walk to the spot marked "South Side spotting 2", you can sit on an elevated grass bank with a splendid view of aircraft arriving on runway 05R (easterly winds).

Parking for the southern side is on a public road. If you follow the A538 toward Wilmslow, the road takes you beneath the runways, via 2 tunnels. Immediately after the second tunnel, there is a roundabout where you take the first exit.

Photos taken from "South Side spotting 1"

A380 departing from the northern runway:

B757 lining up for departure on the southern runway

Photos taken from "South Side spotting 2":
On the northern side of the airport, there is an excellent viewing area, marked "North Side spotting", complete with car parking, a good cafe and purpose built viewing mounds only 75 yards from the nearest taxiway.

Parking and spotting areas are marked with "North Side parking" and "North Side spotting". The drawbacks with this location are; the sun can be in your face for most of the day and the car park is not free, although they have a maximum fee of £12.

Getting there; again, follow the A538 Wilmslow road and you will see a sign for a pub named "Romper". Take that turning and at the end of the road, turn right and follow the road right into the Aviation Park. If you don't want to pay the parking fee, turn left instead of right and park somewhere on the road or even in the pub car park.

Photos taken from "South Side spotting 1"

Map Link:

Kelvin's Website:

Comment by gonnahavemesomefun on October 17, 2014 at 17:33

Excellent guide, we do that airport walk regularly and that going to add to our spotting, thank you.

Comment by Bryan Crawford on December 16, 2014 at 16:49

HI, Kelvin can you tell me if there is car parking anywhere near spotting 2 south side at Manchester Airport. Any info would be gratefully received.


Bryan Crawford.

Comment by Kelvin Davies on December 16, 2014 at 17:40

Hi Bryan,

I do wish I could remember the exact spot! Each time I go there, it takes me 2 goes to get the right place!

First one: find Lady Lane, coming from Mobberly direction. This runs up to a crash gate at the extreme western end of the runway. Just before the crash gate, there is a small road on your right.

Follow that one until you come to the next crash gate. Just before the crash gate is space for a couple of cars.

A little further along to the east there's another spot with room for a couple of cars. To get to this one, you want to go up Woodend Lane. It is easy enough to reach this road coming from either Mobberly or Morley Green. From either of these spots, there is a short track through to the bank running alongside the runway.

Number one tip: Get there early! Parking is scarce.



Comment by Bryan Crawford on December 16, 2014 at 17:41

Thanks a lot Kelvin.

Comment by andy santini-man-egcc. on April 18, 2015 at 20:10

the avp is very good i go there an lot but i get the bus if you get the bus the 200 depts the airport bus st 16 mins past the hour and drops you right inside the AVP and you just walk in and its free when you walk in the 200 depts the avp at 25 mins past the hour there is an bus stop there as well at the avp and that takes you back to the airport bus st

many thanks


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