Postal services

Stamps can be bought at many outlets, including supermarkets and petrol stations. When writing to a British address, it is advisable to always include the postcode, which, if not known, can be obtained from the Royal Mail Postcode Checker. Within the UK, letters and postcards can be sent either First or Second Class; Second Class mail is cheaper and takes a day or two longer. The price of postage depends on the size and weight of a letter. For more details, visitors should head to the Royal Mail website or take their letter or parcel to any Post Office.

Larger Post Office branches offer a variety of mail services, in addition to currency exchange. In more isolated areas, as well as in larger towns and cities, there are often small branches in newsagents, grocery stores and general information centres. In many villages, the Post Office is also the only shop.

Post Offices are usually open from 9:00 to 17:30 Monday to Friday, and until 12:30pm on Saturday. Some are also open later into the evenings, and on Sundays. Please check the Post Office website for opening hours in your clients’ destination.

Post boxes can be found throughout cities, towns and villages in Britain. They may be either freestanding boxes or wall safes, but they are always painted bright red. Collections are usually made twice a day during weekdays (less frequently on Saturdays and Sundays). The last collection time of the day is marked on the box.

Air letters go by Royal Mail’s International Standard service anywhere in the world; the cost depends on the destination. On average, it takes three days for them to reach cities in Europe, and four to six days for other destinations. Royal Mail also offers an express airmail service called Airsure, available from all Post Office branches. Mail sent in this manner will go on the first available flight to the destination.