Little Harbour is a home-from-home. A place where each family member can find time and space to feel normal and do the things they enjoy as a mum, as a dad, as a brother or sister: as a family, not overwhelmingly as a carer.

HistoryExternal view of Little Harbour

The Children’s Hospice South West Precious Lives Appeal, to open a new hospice to support the families of Plymouth and Cornwall, was launched at the beginning of September 2007 and on 5 September 2011 the announcement was made that the appeal target had been reached.

Little Harbour is set in a spectacular coastal location overlooking St Austell Bay with beautiful views out to sea. Designed and built with a view to celebrating Cornish building traditions and its close proximity to the sea, Little Harbour has the feel of a ‘holiday home’ in a relaxed seaside setting.

Little Harbour opened its doors to its first families in December 2011 and is most conveniently situated for families who live in Cornwall, Plymouth and parts of South Devon.

Little Harbour hydrotherapy pool


At Little Harbour as with all our hospices, families will discover individual children’s bedrooms, accommodation for parents and siblings, a wide range of play and therapy facilities – including a messy play area, a hydrotherapy pool and a multi-sensory room – and a homely family kitchen and living room.

Teenagers also get their own special space where they can surf the net, play music and be themselves, whilst our games room is a place for chilling out and taking a few minutes to beat dad at pool.


Hope and Betsy Willingham guide us around Little Harbour hospice's sensory garden, Mermaids Cove and demonstrate their favourite features.

The garden was completed in 2015 and takes our children and families through an interactive sensory journey of stormy seas to calm waters. Mermaids Cove has a sandpit, water sprays, piped sounds of the sea, and a mermaid’s house for storytelling and is laid out in a way that the sensory moments are accessible to all.

Being able to enjoy time in a garden is such a simple pleasure which through these gardens, we can bring to our families when they most need some relaxation and enjoyment.

CQC Report - Little Harbour

The care team at Little Harbour

Nurse Kitty French

What we offer is far from the incredibly sad places many imagine hospices to be.

Everyone at Children's Hospice South West gives their all to ensure that children who will not reach adulthood have a safe, happy and relaxing place that they love to visit, and that their parents and siblings get all the help and support they need.

Meet Kitty French, a children's nurse at Little Harbour. She joined the team in 2014 has kindly shared why she loves working here with us.

Read Kitty's story


Contact Little Harbour

Porthpean Road, Porthpean, St Austell 
Cornwall, PL26 6AZ
t: 01726 871 800
f: 01726 871 812
Location: Google Maps

To make a referral to Little Harbour please call us on 01726 65 555 or email us at

More information



We welcome referrals from family members or professionals for children who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition.

Our hospices

Open days

Each month we open our doors to give our supporters an insight into children’s hospice life.



Read our research and CQC Reports for Little Harbour.