Live updates

Whitehaven historic walks to take place over summer

The walks will start from the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven Credit: ITV Border

A series of free historic guided tours has been launched by The Beacon Museum in Whitehaven, in the hopes it will educate both local residents and tourists on the region.

The Whitehaven Walks will run twice daily, every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday throughout the summer.

The trails will depart from The Beacon Museum at 11.30am and 2pm, lasting around 90 minutes. The morning tour focuses on the history of the town centre, while the afternoon trail explores the "picturesque harbourside".

Doing these trails is a way of looking at our town differently and seeing how the past has shaped what we have today. The marina as an example has hundreds of stories to tell and the museum wants to get the local community engaging with the past.”

– Matthew Bland, The Beacon Museum Tour Guide and a St Benedict’s School pupil

New wildlife exhibition goes on display in west Cumbria

Credit: Copeland Borough Council

A 'wild' exhibition, focused on snakes, will go on display at the Beacon Museum at Whitehaven.

It will include interactive displays, games and specimens for visitors to see.

There will also be live snake-handling sessions on the Saturdays, throughout the exhibition which will be up from 8 July to 6 September.

Visitors can learn about all types of snakes, from the Burmese python to colourful milk snakes to the anaconda.

It's another major coup for The Beacon to attract such a high-quality exhibition. I'm sure it will prove hugely popular for young and old alike."

– Councillor Mark Holliday, Portfolio Holder for The Beacon


Beacon museum to host family workshops

The Beacon Museum Credit: ITV Border

Families in Cumbria can take place in a series of workshops being held at Beacon museum in Whitehaven.

The workshops will include a session on felt-making, using ancient practices.

We are committed to offering great learning experiences here at The Beacon.

These classes are a great way to learn a craft and also understand the connection in style and method to our Black Sheep exhibition, which brings felting to us in a very off-beat and edgy way.

– Alan Irwin, Business Development Manager, Beacon Museum

The flat felting workshop will take place on 29 May and 1 June. The 3D felting workshops will take place on 30 May and 2 June. Both will begin at 1pm and last between two and three hours.

The Copeland Pass gives those living in the borough free entry to the museum during certain periods of the year. It is currently available until 7 July

Beacon museum shortlisted for tourism award

Beacon museum, Whitehaven. Credit: ITV Border

The Beacon museum in Whitehaven, west Cumbria, has been shortlisted for a Cumbria Tourism Award.

The museum received a nomination in the 'Visitor Attraction of the Year' category.

Its visitor numbers have increased by 24%, with over 24,000 visitors over the last year.

This recognition adds to what visitors are already telling us. We hear frequently about how visitors love the new exhibitions and upgraded events. We get excited about innovating and change, so that we remain relevant both for locals and for tourists.

– Elizabeth Kwasnik, museum manager

The Cumbria Tourism Awards will be held on Wednesday, 21st June.

Beacon expansion 'will benefit community'

The Beacon Museum in Whitehaven Credit: ITV Border

The £1.4 million expansion of the Beacon Museum begins today, and Copeland's mayor says it'll be a big asset to the wider community:

It has been an honour to break ground to herald the start of this major project which will bring a much needed conference facility to the centre of Whitehaven.

The expansion brings great, new opportunities to Copeland, to host exhibitions and events which previously would not have been able to come to this part of the North West. It will be an asset to business, the arts and education which will benefit the wider community.

The development will also support the Beacon Museum to achieve the business goal of self-sustainable, through increasing the opportunities for commercialisation - creating the revenue to sustain this important building, archive and museum service.

The new development will offer more prestigious, significant and diverse exhibitions which will attract more visitors to Copeland, helping to further boost the local economy.”

– Mayor of Copeland, Mike Starkie

Beacon Museum's £1.4m expansion begins

The Beacon Museum in Whitehaven Credit: ITV Border

The expansion of the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven begins today.

The £1.4 million project is expected to expand the museum's display space, and see the building of a new conference centre.

An impression of the new development. Credit: Copeland Borough Council

In 2012 the museum was threatened with closure - until nuclear company Sellafield Ltd took joint ownership of it with Copeland Borough Council.


Watch: Whitehaven's 'special relationship'

Paul Crone meets US Navy Captain David Stracener, and takes a look at the special relationship between Whitehaven and the United States.

Historic visit 'tremendous'

Captain David Stracener says he has received a warm welcome from the people of Whitehaven during his visit to the Beacon Museum.

He is here for the annual commemoration for John Paul Jones, the US Ranger who led the surprise attack on Whitehaven Harbour in 1778.

He has described the links between Whitehaven and the United States of America as "amazing".

Load more updates