The Beacon Museum, WhitehavenReview

Last weekend, we enjoyed the company of Donna and her family and so wanted to find something fun for the children to do that didn’t put too much strain on my heavily pregnant self.  We decided to visit The Beacon Museum in a town nearby called Whitehaven, as it’s always been a great day out for us as a family.

The Beacon Museum explores the local heritage of the borough of Copeland, and the town’s involvement in the Slave Trade, as well as sharing the story of the nuclear industry and works carried out at Sellafield over the last 6 decades.  Touring exhibitions are also brought into the museum; Walking with Dinosaurs and Explore the Past – Iron Age to Stone Age being the some of the more recent exhibitions to be featured.

We made our way up to the 4th floor of the Beacon Museum first, where the children peeked through the telescopes at the views to Scotland over the harbour and created brass rubbed drawings of the different rocks that can be found around Whitehaven.  The mezzanine level displays a variety of items from the not-so-distant past including the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.  O loved playing the Space Invaders video game and his Daddy, A, tested his fitness on the Chopper which was wired up to make a glitter ball spin!

After the children (and our husbands) had finished presenting the weather and zapping aliens, we then took to the 3rd floor to find out more about the local area.  The children found a couple of small sand pits that were filled with roman artefacts to find.  O loved popping on his safety goggles and using the brushes to gently brush the sand away, unearthing Roman wine jugs and coins.

Of course, the husbands couldn’t contain their excitement when they were given the photo opportunity of a lifetime.  Doesn’t A make a gorgeous Lady Lowther?

And, of course, Whitehaven is renowned for being a major player in the import/export trade and so an interactive Ship’s deck is clearly called for.  O loved playing Captain of the ship and steering us into the harbour, wrote his name beautifully and posted it as a message in the bottle, and put on a puppet show for Donna and I with Donna’s daughter.

We then tottered off down to the 2nd floor and took part in a number of scientific experiments within the vast interactive section of the Story of Sellafield.

The children loved learning about sound waves, magnets, electrical circuits and static electricity.  The grown ups found the information about the Sellafield site astounding too; it’s the size of a small town and employs a huge number of people in the local area.

Within The Beacon Museum, there is also an exhibition room (which we didn’t go into this time as the children were getting ready for lunch) and gift shop selling locally made produce and museum merchandise.  There’s also a bistro within the ground floor of the building, albeit managed separately.  We have quite literally spent the entire day there in the past as there is so many interactive sectors for children to get involved with.  A great day out was had by all!