If the thought of spending an entire winter with no respite from the cold and gloomy weather is simply too much too bear, I'm certain you'll be looking to escape from the UK, if only for a short while. Head to Melbourne and you'll get to bask in the Australian sun, where you can forget all about the dreary conditions that your friends and family members have to put up with!
With January and February usually the time of year when the city is at its hottest - you can expect average maximum temperatures of 26 degrees C - you'll definitely need to pack plenty of suncream into your suitcase before you head down under.
Of course, before you get too carried dreaming about relaxing on a golden sandy stretch (although, admittedly, it can be very easy to do) you need to give some thought to the essentials. I know I've just mentioned taking lots of sunblock already - you certainly don't want to get sunburn during your holiday - but you should also think about where you are going to stay and how you will get there.
The latter can be easily sorted out by booking a cheap shuttle transfer service before leaving the UK. That way, you can quickly get from Melbourne Airport to your hotel without having to wait for ages for a taxi or attempting to use public transport to get to your accommodation - something you're bound to appreciate given the considerable amount of time it takes to get to Australia as it is. In doing so, your holiday can begin that little bit quicker and, if you're something of a beach bum, it means you will have more time to devote to sunbathing!
The question now is, which beach - or beaches - should you head to? While there are plenty to choose from, here are some of the few I think are among the best.
St Kilda Beach
This is perhaps the most famous beach in the entire city, so it's definitely worth coming here at least for a day, if only to see what all the fuss is about! From the minute you see the expansive stretch of sand though, I think it ought to become fairly obvious why it is popular among sun-loving locals and holidaymakers alike.
However, it doesn't only cater to people keen to work on their tan but also to activity lovers. You can windsurf, swim and kitesurf here, though if you prefer to stay on dry land you should head to one of the nearby paths designated for walking, cycling and rollerblading.
Not to be confused with the coastal stretch in Sussex, Brighton Beach gives sunbathers the opportunity to gaze out at the seemingly endless Southern Ocean from their position on the golden sand.
The beach is also well known for the rows of brightly-coloured bathing boxes that are dotted along the sand. Take a dip in the warm waters here and you can take in the sight of these boxes contrasting with the towering buildings of central Melbourne lying in the distance.
While both St Kilda and Brighton beaches are within easy reach of the city centre, there are many great coastal stretches located in Melbourne's suburbs, such as Hampton Beach.
Not only is this a popular destination for sailing and boating, but it is also safe for swimming and - of course - has great conditions to sunbathe and soak up some winter sun. The beach is a good place for families, in part because of its extensive foreshore reserve area that incorporates playground and barbecuing facilities.
Are you planning on escaping the British winter by taking a trip down under? If so, please leave a comment and tell us where you're thinking of going!