Galleries and exhibitions

Discover and explore four floors of family friendly galleries and exhibitions.

The Beacon Museum offers an ongoing programme of exhibitions to complement the display of its permanent collection. These range from major blockbusters often curated by staff, here at the Museum, to touring exhibitions and works on loan from other institutions.

Special exhibitions

LS Lowry Oldfield Road Dwellings 1929 © The Lowry Collection, Salford

May the Toys Be With You

The force is strong at The Beacon Museum! From a galaxy far, far away comes an absolute must-see exhibition of one of the UK’s finest collections of vintage Star Wars toys and original cinema posters.

27 April 2024 – 13 July 2024 | The Harbour Gallery

Image credit: Fox Exhibitions

LS Lowry Oldfield Road Dwellings 1929 © The Lowry Collection, Salford

Second Thoughts by Fabricate

A community exhibition brought to you by local textile group Fabricate. View a collection of fibre artworks made from recycled materials.

27 April 2024 – 23 June 2024 | The Light and Dark Gallery



Up on the Mezzanine level is the Pop Culture Gallery – 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.

Take a trip back in the not-too-distant past; discover toys, ride a Chopper bike, play connect 4 and present the weather forecast.

viewing gallery at beacon museum


Be amazed by what you can discover from the stunning 4th floor Viewing Gallery.

Use the powerful telescopes, object displays and our helpful, easy to read digital interactives to find out about the town and harbour of Whitehaven, its development and geology. 

changing times gallery


Grab your lamp and pick axe and go ‘down pit’ in our virtual reality mine experience.


changing times gallery


Discover how we’ve evolved through time and the development of Whitehaven from a small fishing hamlet to one of the most important ports in the country, led by the Lowther family.

Unravel the mysteries of timekeeping and navigation before joining the crew aboard the “Maria Lowther”.


New interactives. New information.

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.


A joint acquisition between The Beacon Museum and Tullie, Carlisle.

This exceptionally rare find is one of few gold Bronze Age objects found in Cumbria and will be on display in our 3rd floor gallery from 18 November 2023 – June 2024, after which it will be displayed at Tullie.

Purchased with support from Art Fund, Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, Cumberland Council, Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, and Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Acquired under the Treasure Act 1996

Coming soon


Hop into this walkthrough experience, where visitors will be able to immerse themselves in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Little bunnies will be able to crawl under the garden gate, hide in a watering can, and see their reflection in a mirror pool, just like Peter Rabbit! With photo opportunities and activities to take part in along the way.

6 JULY 2024 – 1 SEPTEMBER 2024

changing times gallery


Grab your bucket and spade and celebrate all things seaside brought to you by the Beacon Team!

20 JULY 2024 – 13 OCTOBER 2024