San Francisco Bay Area: Visiting Filoli

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In the UK, it’s inevitable that on the weekend we’ll end up at a National Trust property. Greys Court is nearby and we love wandering through the gardens. If we’re feeling ambitious, we drive out to Waddeson Manor, which the girls adore.

While in California, we visit Filoli. Located just 30 miles south of San Francisco, it’s a Golden State version of an English country house, with lots and lots of sunshine and blue skies.

Filoli is full of history too. After the 1906 earthquake, many of the monied San Francisco families of the Gilded Age relocated to the “safer” Peninsula and built expansive estates (the US version of Downton Abbey?) Filoli, which sits amongst 654 acres, is one of the few remaining country piles of the early 20th century. It’s run by the National Trust for Historic Conversation, showcasing a cozy Georgian country house with a spectacular 16–acre English Renaissance garden. We love to visit and have a little potter around.

What we really enjoy though is the SUNSHINE. Filoli brings together a bit California history with its most famous ingredient. I can just imagine the previous owners hanging out near the swimming pool, writing letters to their cousins on the other side of the pond, asking about the weather of course!

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The Sunken Garden at Filoli always wows visitors, and it is especially attractive in early Spring.

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Everywhere you turn there is a gorgeous flower to admire. 

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The swimming pool was added in 1946 by the estate’s 2nd owners. The white plastered pool reflects the California blue sky and mirrors the Clock Tower.

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The Garden and Gift Shop has a unique selection of plants and gifts, including Joules clothing!

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The Walled Garden was designed by Arthur Brown and contains many large trees and rare Mountain Camellias.

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The shallow reflecting pool in the Sunken garden has gorgeous water lilies. I love my shadow above!

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Many people stop here in the Sunken Garden to have their portraits taken. We couldn’t resist.

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The Georgian house is built in a U shape, with a servants wing on one end, and the Ballroom on the other. It still has a working kitchen.

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Admission prices are slightly higher in the Spring, but it so worth it!

 

IF YOU GO:

Filoli 86 Canada Road, Woodside, CA 94062 + 1 (650) 364-8300 filoli.org Open February through October. Admission to Filoli allows you to explore the historic House and Garden at your leisure. Self-guided booklets and docents are available to answer questions and there’s a 15–minute video on the history of Filoli that runs continuously in the Visitor Centre. 

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10 Comments

  1. 05/04/2015 / 18:45

    oh my so many colours in those flowers. that sunshine is only found in california i am sure
    otiliA recently posted…March YouTube FavouritesMy Profile

  2. 05/04/2015 / 14:40

    What a stunning place! Your photos are lovely S! 🙂 x

  3. 05/04/2015 / 07:21

    Those colours are amazing!!! This sounds glorious. I need to go back to California and explore properly, rather than on a Thelma And Louise type trip like the one I did in 2001!

    Love those gorgeous tulips
    Mummy Barrow recently posted…Silent Sunday — 5th AprilMy Profile

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