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The Beacon Museum

A: West Strand, Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 7LY T: 01946 592302
Ground Floor
The Wellington Bistro

The Wellington Bistro is located directly below The Beacon Museum

Enjoy fresh, quality, home cooked food. Make a day of it and have lunch at The Wellington Bistro

Floor 1: Reception, Shop and Harbour Gallery

The reception and shop have been relocated to the 1st floor, and you can access the museum from here at the top of the car park ramp outside.

Our new and improved shop has new and exciting ranges at reasonable prices, with truly something for everyone on offer.

At reception you can also get information on what’s on in the local area and more information about Whitehaven town.

Each year we offer three large feature family themed exhibitions in the Harbour Gallery. A space that can be transformed by the content of each exhibition.

Outside of these periods, The Harbour Gallery is the Beacon Museum’s temporary exhibition space and is located on the main entrance floor.

Floor 2: The Sellafield Story

Discover the story of how West Cumbria supported the war effort and, afterwards, how new technology was pioneered right here to give the UK a nuclear deterrent.

The exciting, interactive new exhibition charts, warts and all, how that early weapons programme grew into a nuclear industry which has supported Cumbria’s economy for the past 60 years, and looks at what the future might be for energy.

Floor 3: Copeland's Changing Times

Copeland’s history dates back thousands of years, long before the Romans or Vikings landed.

Find out how Norse settlers travelled to our coast and made this area their home.  Discover how Whitehaven was transformed from a small fishing hamlet to one of the most important ports in the country by the influential Lowther family. Learn about the area’s American Connections and discover how merchant ships returned to port laden with exotic goods from around the world. Unravel the mysteries of timekeeping and navigation before joining the crew aboard the “Maria Lowther”.  Find out about the cramped living conditions of “Mount Pleasant” and relive great moments in history in our cinema.

Look out for:

  • Unearthing Roman artefacts

  • Finding your way around the Trading Triangle

  • Sights, sounds and smells of the Warehouse

  • Interactive ship – jump aboard!

  • How does a clock work?

  • “Birdseye View of Whitehaven” puzzle

Floor 4: Views, Pop and The Weather

Use the powerful telescopes, graphics, banners and displays of objects to find out about the town and harbour of Whitehaven, its development, its geology, its animals and plants and how to look out for them.

There are helpful, easy to read flipbooks about the town’s harbour and historic buildings, a display and pictures.

Up on the Mezzanine level is the POP Gallery – 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Take a trip back in the not-too-distant past; discover toys, ride a chopper bike, present the Weather Forecast!

Look out for:

  • Stunning panoramic views and telescopes

  • Harbour, coast and buildings flipbooks

  • Disco ball

  • Become a weather presenter

  • Giant Connect 4

The Portal

The brand new Beacon Portal building is up and running, and whilst we won’t be launching officially until the Autumn, there is lots going on in this unique harbour side venue over the summer months.

If you are interested in using this space for corporate or social events, please get in contact by clicking “Contact us” above and enter the subject as “Beacon Portal”.

The building encompasses two rooms each capable of seating up to 35 people in different formats. The bottom floor also includes an open veranda with retractable glass walls, providing an added dimension to your event. High speed internet, visual display and in house catering facilities are all available.

The Beacon Portal has two things that no other venue can boast- a location that is truly memorable and representative of Copeland at its finest, and a connection to the Beacon Museum; the beating heart of Copeland’s heritage and history.

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