Thanks for the reply. I did a little searching around and finally found the solution to my problem.
Despite me changing the port to 8080 in the config menu, apache was apparently still trying to use port 80 in the background. So I manually went to \xampp\apache\conf\ and opened up httpd.conf in notepad, and changed the lines "Listen 80" to "Listen 8080" and "ServerName localhost:80" to "ServerName localhost:8080". It was a success, I was able to connect to port 8080 and using http://localhost:8080 in my browser.
BUT this wasn't satisfying enough, I wanted to know why I couldn't connect to port 80 and finally found the solution to that problem:
I went as far as completely uninstalling my antivirus and firewall just to make absolutely sure they weren't causing the problem, and they weren't, I was STILL unable to get onto port 80.
So I opened up the task manager, clicked the performance tab, clicked on "Resource Monitor" and looked at Listening Ports, turns out it was "system" that was using port 80. Which was irritating as that could be anything.
After a bit of searching around I discovered it was IIS (World Wide Publishing Service) that was the culprit. I was able to kill it by going to "Services" (type it in the start menu, it has a cogwheel icon) and scrolling all the way to bottom where it says "World Wide Publishing Service" and stopped the process. I am now able to connect to port 80 on apache just fine