Have you considered a bridge
type DSLR (or "superzoom)? Argos have a Sale
on at the moment and you can pick a Fuji s4300
(14Mp and 26x Zoom lens and 720p video recording amongst other features) up for £99.
Whilst such cameras do not provide the absolute image quality of a full DLSR they do offer considerably more capability and flexibility than a standard "point and shoot" compact camera and are ideal starter cameras in my opinon. After a while you could look to trade up as you get more practised and with a clearer idea of the specification level and features important to you.
I have just purchased a similar camera, but from the next model range up with a 50x zoom lens that also has a macro and wide angle capability built in and the pictures it produces (for the cost of the camera / lens) are astonishing. If I get the time and can figure it out I'll add some pics to the gallery here.