Stamps can be bought from post offices (hours vary according to branch, but usual opening hours are weekdays 9–5:30, with some closing early one day a week, especially in smaller towns, and Saturday 9–noon), from stamp machines outside post offices, and from newsagents. Some post offices are located within supermarkets or general stores. Specialized shipping shops like Mail Boxes Etc. also sell stamps. Mailboxes, known as post or letter boxes, are painted bright red. Allow 7 days for a letter to reach the United States and about 10 days to two weeks to Australia or New Zealand. The useful Royal Mail website has information on everything from buying stamps to finding a post office.

As of this writing, airmail letters up to 20 grams (0.75 ounce) to North America cost 97p. Letters within Britain weighing up to 100 grams (3.5 ounces) are 62p for first class, 53p for second class. Rates for envelopes larger than 353 mm (13.9 inches) long, 250 mm (9.84 inches) wide, and 25 mm (1 inch) deep are higher. You can find prices and print postage on the Royal Mail website.


Royal Mail. Royal Mail 03457/740740;

Shipping Packages

Most department stores and retail outlets can ship your goods home. You should check your insurance for coverage of possible damage. Private delivery companies such as Federal Express and DHL offer two-day delivery service to the United States, but you'll pay a considerable amount for the privilege.

Express Services

DHL. DHL 0844/248–0844;

Federal Express. Federal Express 0845/600–0068;

Mail Boxes Etc.. Mail Boxes Etc. 0800/623123;

Parcelforce. Parcelforce 0344/800–4466;

UPS. UPS 0345/787–7877;


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