The Beacon Museum

West Strand, Whitehaven, CA28 7LY
The Beacon Museum

Photo thanks to the Beacon Museum

Overlooking the Irish Sea in the port town of Whitehaven, the Beacon Museum is dedicated to informing visitors on the history of the Copeland district in West Cumbria. Spread over several floors, the museum is packed with interactive and informative displays on both history and science, with a particular focus on the nuclear industry.

The museum has a temporary exhibition space that houses several changing exhibitions each year, covering a variety of topics. With plenty of activities for children, the museum is popular with families and offers good value for money.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
01946 592 302 / Website
Please see official website
Seasonal Opening:
All Year

Things to See

The Sellafield Story at the Beacon Museum

The Sellafield Story (Photo thanks to the Beacon Museum)

This modern museum was fully refurbished in 2007 and has four distinct floors. Floor one is home to the reception and shop, as well as the Harbour Gallery. This is a temporary exhibition space which has a changing programme of exhibits, usually with a Cumbrian focus.

On floor two, you will find the Sellafield Story. It’s an opportunity to explore the history of the nuclear industry in Cumbria, with plenty of interactive exhibits that aim to develop an understanding of nuclear technology. Children will love the small soft play area with unique foam bricks that children can use to create their own nuclear reactor.

On floor three, visitors are invited to step back in time with a large space that explores the history of Copeland. There is a large display about the Romans, with a sandpit for children to discover hidden Roman “artefacts”. There is a lot of information about ship building in the area and the importance of Whitehaven in early trades with the United States. Again, there are plenty of hands-on exhibits throughout.

Floor four is at the top of the museum and has extraordinary views of the harbour with telescopes giving you a closer look. There is information about the town’s buildings and history here, along with several activities for children. Floor four also has a mezzanine level where you will find the POP Gallery. Here you can take a nostalgic look at the not-so-distant past, with toys from the 1950s to the 1980s on display. You can ride a chopper here, play a game of Space Invaders, or even attempt to do your own weather forecast on TV.

Useful Information

On the ground level of the building, there is a restaurant. The Wellington Bistro is actually a separate business to the museum, but you can access it through the museum. In terms of parking, there are several car parking spaces outside the museum that are available on a pay and display basis.

Tickets to the museum are valid all day and visitors are welcome to leave and return throughout the day. Entry to the temporary exhibitions is usually included in the ticket price but, occasionally, you may need to pre-book a time slot for some exhibitions due to their popularity.


Swap Start/End