Last winter set a meteorological landmark as one of the sunniest on record, finds Weathernet, an arm of loss adjusting company Cunningham, Ellis & Buckle.

Temperatures for the most recent month, February 2000, were several degrees above average despite an inclement first week.

The south and east of England were particular hot spots with Strood near Rochester in Kent scoring almost 15 degrees Celsius on February 18.

The sunniest place to be in February was Calthorpe in Norfolk which enjoyed 125.3 hours of sunshine that month. And Porchester in Hampshire had the longest day of sunshine on February 25 at 10.3 hours.

Sunseekers unlucky to be living in Corsock, in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, would have seen the sun for only 52 hours in February.