The Beacon Museum

beacon museum whitehaven harbour
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

The Beacon Museum, situated on Whitehaven’s beautiful Georgian harbourside, tells the story of the rich history of this fascinating corner of the Western Lake District.

There is a fantastic interactive exhibition which tells the story of the nuclear industry in West Cumbria, past, present and future.

Beginning at the top of the museum, visitors can expect to enjoy the best view in town in our viewing gallery, looking out across the Solway. That floor also features an interactive POP Gallery exploring leisure and culture in 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s.
Downstairs the story of West Cumbria begins with the hands-on history of the area from Norse Settlers to twentieth century industries.

Our second floor exhibition tells 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.

Whatever your age, The Beacon Museum is a great place to learn and have fun. After your visit, be sure to take a look in our gift shop before relaxing in The Wellington Bistro for lunch or a cuppa.

Also don't miss the gift shop, which stocks a whole range of locally sourced gifts.

We also have the family-run Wellington Bistro and Café on our ground floor.

With rotating exhibitions in our Harbour Gallery and events scheduled throughout the year and school holidays, it’s the perfect time to visit The Beacon.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 4.30pm. Last admission 3.45pm. Closed Mondays except for school and bank holiday Mondays.
Closed 24th to 26th December inclusive.

Admission charges

Adult £5.50, Concession £4, Child £2 (under 5s free), Family (2 adults and up to 3 children) £10.


  • Museums Association

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Land Transport, Maritime, Natural Sciences, Social History, Weapons and War

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Storytelling and Spooky Puppet Tales Evening

  • 30 October 2015 5-7pm

Family-friendly spooky puppet tales from Old Mother Hubbard and Toby the dog, and a Wellington Bistro dungeon-themed finger banquet!

This evening is suitable for children of 4-9 years old, who must be accompanied by an adult.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10


£7 per child, accompanying adults free.

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Please call 01946 592302 to reserve your tickets.


Medieval Fright Night

  • 31 October 2015 6-8pm

Drop-in themed story telling event; the Plague Doctor introduces a sinister twist on Halloween! Listen to the plague victim’s tales of misery - not for the faint hearted.

Suitable for adults and children (10 years upwards and must be accompanied by an adult)

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15


£7.00 per child. Bring up to 2 adults per child for free.
Please call 01946 592302 to reserve your tickets.


The Beacon Museum
West Strand
CA28 7LY




01946 592302


01946 598150

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.