WHILE there are many reasons why anyone in their right mind would not want to visit the United Kingdom in January, there is at least one good reason why they should - it's cheap. A return air ticket to the UK can be as low as $6,300, cheaper than a return fare to Vancouver or Sydney, or New York. And if you are not too bothered about the notorious British winter weather, you can make a killing in London's January sales, where many prices are slashed by half. People actually queue overnight outside Harrods, the exclusive London store, for its annual sale. Cashmere sweaters from Scotland, European shoes, leather goods and London fashion are just some of the items on which you can make great savings. Many Hong Kong tour operators are now placing as much emphasis on shopping as they are on sightseeing. Summer, of course, is a more sensible time for outdoor activities such as visiting the Yorkshire Dales, the Peak and Lake Districts. And the autumn can be pleasantly mild. For me, Britain's historical sites are also a priority. There are thousands scattered all over the United Kingdom. And I am particularly fond of seaside towns like Margate and Ramsgate in Kent (the garden of England) where I spent my childhood. I also find the university towns of Oxford and Cambridge particularly interesting. Fortunately, accommodation has never been a problem for me as I normally stay with friends, but there are plenty of Bed and Breakfast (B&Bs) and guest houses, and their charges also vary with the seasons, another plus for a January visit. January might be too cold to climb Snowdonia in North Wales, but you can stay indoors and have a great time. I'm thinking of British pubs. They are great places to dine and wine. Many are renowned for pub grub such as the traditional roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, fish and chips with mushy peas. Don't get put off by the attention you draw in the more 'local' establishments which are not used to visitors. My friends and I had once brought a whole pub to a deafening silence. But who cares, you can enjoy some of the finest local ale while they watch. For me, the best way to get around the country efficiently is by driving. Both coach and train services are OK but don't bank on them if you are in a hurry. Come to think of it, there may be just one other reason why you should travel to the UK in January: just when have you seen an international airport almost deserted?