The Beacon


Access Statement

This information is available in other languages and formats – please just ask.

01946 592302





Welcome to The Beacon, Copeland’s Museum.

We aim to provide a quality experience for all visitors and continually strive to improve. We are committed to providing access for all.

Before your Visit

  • What’s inside the Beacon?

4th Floor – Panoramic view over the town and harbour. Displays on the local architecture, wildlife, John Paul Jones and the Weather Zone

3rd Floor – Changing times exhibition- Archaeology, Medieval gallery Trading, Shipbuilding, Life at sea,

2nd Floor – The Sellafield story- interactive exhibition

1st Floor –  Harbour Gallery exhibitions,  photographic darkroom, activity area

Ground Floor – Shop, Restaurant



  • When is it open?


Open all year, Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays (closed 24th – 26th December)


10am to 4.30pm

Last entry 45 minutes before closing


  • Visitor Information


Beacon information is available in the following formats –


Large print information and exhibition catalogues



Access Leaflet

Options via Website

Different languages


Please just ask, we’re happy to help.


  • How long does it take to visit the Beacon?


It’s really up to you how long you spend. We’d suggest the minimum time is 45 minutes, but visitors are regularly here for over 2 hours.


For any pre-visit enquiries, please do not hesitate to phone 01946 592302 or email


Getting Here

  • How close can I get to the Beacon?

The Beacon is on the harbourside at Whitehaven. The building is adjacent to a Pay & Display car park which incorporates two wide bay spaces which are 21 metres away from the main entrance.

  • What’s the surface like?

The car park surface is brick blockwork. The entrance ramp is a gritted surface with handrails on either side.

  • What size are the parking spaces?

The wide bays measure 155cm across. The standard bays are 92cm wide.

  • Can I use public transport?

By train, the Beacon is a half mile walk from Whitehaven Station along the harbourside. Taxis are usually waiting at the Station.

There are two local taxi companies with accessible taxis. Please phone the Beacon for details.


  • Are there any unusual gradients or obstacles?

There is an incline (1:15 ratio) from the car park to the main entrance. On arrival, if you feel you may struggle with this, please phone The Beacon on 01946 592302 and we’ll help in any way we can.

  • Will I have to use any steps?

There are no steps from the car park to the entrance. Once inside the Beacon lift access is available throughout the building.

  • Is the area well lit?

The area has good street lighting for evening visits.

Getting In

  • Will I be able to find the entrance clearly?

The main entrance is temporarily on the ground floor of the building. If you are visiting the Beacon during closed hours for some reason, please phone 01946 592302 for details on how to access the buildin

There is an additional entrance into the Activity Room from Ground Level which is not generally accessible. If you have a meeting or event specifically in this room, please phone 01946 592302 to arrange access.

  • How wide are the doors?

There are 2 sets of entrance doors which open automatically as you approach them. They are 69 cm wide.

From Ground Floor Harbourside, the door into the Restaurant opens outwards automatically and is 110 cm wide.

From the Ground Floor into the Activity Room, the double doors open outwards (operated by staff from inside the building only) and are each 53 cm wide.


Once inside the Beacon, staff will greet you in Reception. There is a split level reception desk with an induction loop.


Getting Around


  • Access Facilities


The whole museum is accessible to wheelchair users and pushchairs

Induction loop facilities are available at Reception, in the Activity Room and at every audio/visual display within the exhibitions

Adjustable volume controls at audio/visual displays

Subtitles on video presentations

Printed transcripts of audios and oral history presentations

Tactile directional signage

Large print information

Colour contrasts and large print exhibition graphics

Staff guide available to accompany visitors with visual or hearing impairments (please pre-book by phone or email)

Lift to all floors of the building with floor announcements and tactile signage. Lift dimensions are 91 cm wide by  140 cm deep

A staff-operated access lift is available on the 4th floor to take wheelchair users up to the mezzanine level for the Weather Zone. The lift dimensions are 310mm wide and 465mm deep. This lift is unsuitable for mobility scooters

Wheelchairs available for use inside the building


2 wheelchair accessible toilets (3rd floor and Ground floor) with pull cord alarms in case of emergency


Magnifying glasses available from Reception







Service Dogs are welcome throughout the museum. If your dog needs water, just ask a member of staff


Getting Out


  • How do I get out of the building after my visit?

The main entrance (ramp to car park) is actually at 1st floor level. Reception is immediately next to the 1st floor lift lobby.

What if there’s an emergency?

Don’t worry. Visitors will be assisted to evacuate the building on every floor. If you are near a Fire Exit, please use it. If you have any problems at all, just stay where you are and you will be found.


How to Contact The Beacon


The Beacon

West Strand, Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 7LY

Telephone 01946 592302

Fax 01946 598150




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