Richard Purden

Latest articles from Richard Purden

Amsterdam is a hub for major live gigs - with a fascinating football museum

Close to Amsterdam's Canal Belt, this central hotel offers a friendly and historic experience. The Dam Square is almost on the doorstep with close access to the train station. The building dates back to the 18th century and incorporates a former church, paper mill and merchant houses. It's a spacious and contemporary interior on entering that combines tradition and modernity well.

This hotel is closer to an art gallery than a mere place to stay

In some ways it's closer to entering an art gallery. The hotel works with several British artists and works such as Chris Levine's "Lightness of Being" a holographic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. It's a striking image to view on arrival. A bronze artwork behind the reception desk features Westminster and the River Thames in miniature scale under London's cityscape. Perhaps the artwork that attracts the most attention is The House Always Wins which presents 150 characters including Batman and King Kong opposing each other in the House of Commons.

A cosy and stylish Lake District getaway with links to William Wordsworth

The clue is in the name for this Victorian gothic mansion surrounded by trees, hills and greenery. Driving in on a winter's night the spectacle of the 4-star hotel on first sight is quite breathtaking. Situated in the heart of Wordsworth country, the Forest Side hosts a roaring fireplace that delivers an immediate sense of atmosphere as you look out onto grazing cattle and no shortage of wildlife. SLEEPING MATTERS We took our two children Ryan (13) and Christina (11) the hotel provided two rooms with an interconnecting door. The lush interiors are designed by James Mackie offering a timeless feel. Specially made beds provide a cosy and comfortable sleep while the washroom is furnished with a large bath and toiletries by Bramley. A look out onto the stars and a breath of fresh air all helped with a good night's sleep.

Strawberry Fields: Imagine a place where dreams were hatched and nostalgia reigns

Visitors to Liverpool are offered an endless array of Beatles tours and activities. Some are predictable; others tacky. But Strawberry Field provides an imaginative and memorable experience within its cafe and garden. Within these grounds, you can sit in the tree where John Lennon used to ruminate, or stand by the iconic red gates which, although a replica of the originals, are still profoundly evocative for those who visit this magical place.