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Imagine a land protected by craggy mountains, lapped by whispering seas, and guarded by mighty fortresses with bloody histories. This is North Wales, Beth Haslam’s beloved homeland.

Imagine a land protected by craggy mountains, lapped by whispering seas, and guarded by mighty fortresses with bloody histories. This is North Wales, Beth Haslam’s beloved homeland.

In this prequel to the Fat Dogs and French Estates series, Beth describes her remarkable childhood in Wales.
Petulant ponies, neurotic sheepdogs and rabbits with razor-sharp teeth shape Beth’s life as she grows up on a farm estate.
She’ll tell you tales of sailing the treacherous Menai Strait Swellies, site of many a dark happening. You’ll learn about the stunning region whose slate once roofed the world and the ghost-filled castle she called home.
As you’ll find out, Beth’s is no ordinary upbringing.
Croeso i Gymru!

Book Information
Paperback: 978-1-915024-20-6
Hardback: 978-1-915024-21-3
Paperback Large Print: 978-1-915024-22-0
Hardback Large Print: 978-1-915024-23-7
Release date: 12th January, 2023

What readers think Fat Dogs and Welsh Estates

Magical and marvellous

I’ve been waiting for this book for months and now I’ve read it, I’m filled with Welsh hiraeth. What a magical memoir about Beth Haslam’s wonderful upbringing in Wales. For a family who were always tenants and never owners, they lived in the most beautiful and special homes in one of the most magical parts of the British Isles. Having spent every childhood holiday in Wales myself, I enjoyed Beth’s beautiful descriptions of her northern Welsh environs from the mountain views of Snowdonia to the dangerous Menai straits and gorgeous Anglesey. Her upbringing was strict, with every privilege accompanied by endless chores to earn it, but she was surrounded with love, animals and glorious scenery. As for her education, I can only sympathise having had to follow that route myself. For extra enjoyment, there are beautiful quotes from Welsh literature, wonderful Welsh recipes and lyrical Welsh words in every chapter, not forgetting the delightful illustrations . I loved it all. Well done, Beth Haslam. This book is a triumph.

Valmarp (Amazon verified)

I LOVED this book!

What a delightful book! I had enjoyed the French Estates books but this one transported me back to my childhood. Beth’s writing is so good you feel you are ‘in the moment’ and memories of a childhood surrounded by animals, a girl’s boarding school and the hilarious small dinghy races off the coast of the llyn peninsula crowded into my mind. I cannot recommend this book highly enopugh. Now I will have to go back and re-read all the French Estates series!

Dr C.T.Hunt (Amazon verified)

Welsh Estates and Childhood Dreams

What a fabulous author Beth is. I’ve loved all her Fat Dogs in France adventures, and now we get to learn about her childhood. What a privileged life she led. Not by living in a wealthy family with huge estates – none of her childhood homes were owned by the family – but by having loving parents, freedom to roam the Welsh countryside, learning to sail the fearsome Swellies, having animals to love, and the obligatory annoying elder sister. This book is peppered with historic facts and Welsh legends, but they’re woven into the story in such a clever way. I loved reading about Beth’s developing love for animals, which shines out so brightly in her other books, but she also has a deep appreciation for people, and describes their characters so well. It’s been a long wait for this book, but it’s definitely worth the wait. If you’ve loved Beth’s other books you will delight in this one. And if you haven’t read the Fat Dogs in France series, this is a perfect book to start enjoying Beth’s adventures. Do I recommend this book? Wholeheartedly. It’s fabulous.

fabulouschrissie (Amazon verified)

Another winner here!

Beth’s love of animals and bird life from a very early age reads like the Welsh version of The Durrells. Beth, you have another winner here!

Sandy McKenna, Top 500 Amazon reviewer

Delightfully different

A delightfully different childhood! I adored joining Beth on this delicious Welsh romp through her beloved and historic homeland accompanied by dogs, ponies and dragons.

Victoria Twead, New York Times bestselling author of Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools


Beth grew up in a series of fabulously unusual homes and her love of animals and all things Welsh shines through every page. Charming and beautifully illustrated.

Alyson Sheldrake, author of Kat the Dog

Such a treat

Refreshing, different and such a treat to find out about Beth’s Welsh background.
Her books just get better and better.

Julie Haigh, Top 1,000 Amazon reviewer