Public transport in the Peak District is hit and miss, so getting from our home in Bakewell to Manchester Airport can be tricky. The fastest and most reliable option is to drive, so we therefore have to consider airport parking. Indeed, whether you live in Liverpool, Blackpool or the Peak District, for those us living in this region of England, Manchester Airport is a logical choice, and for families, driving to the airport is more often than not the easiest option.
Disclaimer: APH Parking provided TraveLynn Family with complimentary Park & Ride and Meet & Greet parking in return for social media coverage and this honest review.
For convenience, we often use Meet and Greet for our trips to Manchester Airport, although we think of it as Drop and Go. With this handy service, you park your car two minutes walk from the terminal, drop the keys at reception and walk to Departures. Your car is then chauffeured away to a secure car park offsite.
On return to the airport, your car is waiting for you in the car park right outside the terminal. It’s easy and well organised, making your trip simple from start to finish.
As a cheaper alternative, you may also fancy the park and ride options. Whilst these add some extra time to your journey, they’ll still an easy to use option, and will save you some money.
There are are handful of companies who you can book this service through. We were recently invited to try out both the Meet and Greet Manchester and Park & Ride services with APH Parking. Firstly for a trip to Essaouira, Morocco, and then for a trip to Bucharest, Romania, both from Terminal 3.
APH Park & Ride
Located to the north of Manchester Airport, APH Park & Ride is a cheaper alternative to Meet and Greet, but still offers an easy to use parking option.
Arrival is quite simple, although the site is situated on an industrial estate, so you perhaps lose some of the charm and magic of other airport getaways. If you’re coming from the north of Manchester (including the M62), it’s very conveniently located close to the M60 and M56. Keep in mind though that if you’re coming from the south or southeast, you’ll have to go past the airport to reach APH which will add to your journey time.
The site is well signposted, with no queues on the day we visited. Your registration number is scanned at the gates and you leave your car in front of reception, ready to be driven away by a member of staff.
We were lucky to find a bus waiting for us, but they run every ten minutes throughout the day. Transfer time to the airport is about 15 minutes, with T3 the first drop off terminal on our trip. The bus goes back onto the M56 to reach the airport, so make sure you factor in any risk into traffic delays when deciding on arrival times.
The drop off point at the terminals are close to the front doors and we were walking through Departures only 20 minutes after dropping our keys off. It’s a smooth process, with plenty of space for bags onboard the bus.
When you arrive back from your trip, make your way back to APH bus stop and wait for the bus to arrive. We only had to wait a few minutes and we were soon heading back onto the motorway towards our car.
APH Meet & Greet
The meet and greet is a slight step up, both in terms of price and ease of use. Travelling from the Peak District, T3 is the first terminal you reach, so this option saved us 30 minutes compared with the Park and Ride version. There was also no worries about getting stuck in traffic, or waiting for a bus to arrive.
Arrival is fairly straightforward, although the signage around T3 never quite feels totally clear. Keep following signs for T3 until you see M&G. It’s important to remember that there’s a 2.0m (6’6″) height limit, so make sure your vehicle is under this height.
Your car registration is scanned to retrieve your booking, the car is then photographed and filmed to record and damage before the gates open. It’s then just a case of rolling forward into a free lane, park up, grab your bags and head to reception.
Inside, you’ll find several self-serve machines to check in and arrange key drop off. There’s always a member of staff on duty in case you need help. Once you’ve dropped your keys off, it’s a one minute walk to the terminal.
Will my car be safe?
Yes. Your car will be driven away by a fully insured and qualified driver to a security-protected ‘Park Mark Safer Parking Award-holding’ car park. There have been stories of some unscrupulous operators taking cars to muddy fields whilst customers are away. Thankfully, APH is not one of them and we had no problems whatsoever.
Which is better? APH Park & Ride or Meet & Greet
Many people dismiss Meet and Greet at Manchester as they think it’s too expensive. In all honesty, it’s not that much more expensive than opting for Park and Ride, where you have to wait for a bus that transfers between carpark and terminals every 15 minutes. For one week’s parking, Meet and Greet Manchester is usually just £10 – £15 more expensive than doing Park and Ride.
For those with mobility issues, or travelling with kids, or even if you have a lot of luggage and sports equipment with you, paying that little bit extra is certainly worth it.
If you’re coming from the south or Peak District, it’s a lot easier dropping your car off at T3 rather than bypassing the airport and heading to the Park and Ride. You’re also limiting the amount of time spent on the motorway in case of accidents or traffic delays. We also much prefer knowing we don’t need to queue for a bus after we’ve landed, occasionally the buses can be full and you’d need to wait for the next one; never ideal after a long flight.
How to book APH Parking for Manchester Airport
Head over to the APH website and book online. If you want to make a saving on booking, make sure you book as early as possible.