How to Send a Letter / Postcard Across UK

People decide to send letters or parcels for various reasons. Letters vary from important official documents to even sweet, heartfelt messages. Sending a parcel is simple enough to do, but ensuring the letter or postcard arrives on time is paramount for most people. The postal service in the UK is the "Royal Mail."

How Royal Mail Deliver Mails Across UK!

The Royal Mail runs as an international business operating across 44 countries and nation-states worldwide. With the UK's largest 'Feet on the Street' network of over 85,000 postmen and women, Royal Mail already has the lowest reported carbon emissions per parcel of any significant UK delivery company. Postmen and women can collect parcels while delivering, resulting in fewer emissions and less congestion from having to send a letter or your parcel personally.

Steps to Sending a Parcel/ Letter in the UK

Below are comprehensive steps on how to send a letter/parcel in the UK:

  • Prepare your Letter/Parcel

    In preparing your letter to send out, you have to take note of the following:
    1. Your choice of envelope:

      After preparing the contents of your letter or parcel, choose your envelope. Your choice of an envelope should depend on how durable, large, and professional you need your letter/ parcel to be. Please note that the postage cost will depend on the size and shape of your mail.

    2. Keep in mind that things like lottery tickets and even everyday items such as aerosols, nail varnish, and perfumes are prohibited items that can't go by mail. It's best to ensure that the items in your parcel are good to go and not fall short of the national and international regulations governing the carriage of mail, ensuring that the mails are safe for everyone.
    3. After preparing your parcel for delivery,
      Enclose Your Parcel/Letter and Seal the Envelope: There are different kinds of envelopes available to fit different types and sizes of parcels. So, pick the one that matches yours best and enclose it.
  • Address the Envelope

    After preparing your mail and sealing it, the next step is to address the mail. You would address your envelope in 2 ways:

    Address the Envelope by Declaring its Recipient:

    Clearly state The UK recipient's address on the bottom left corner of the front of the envelope. The recipient's name comes first, then their house name/number and street name, locality (if necessary), town/city, county (if required), and postcode. So, the recipient address would be something like this:

    *Recipient Name
    *Name of House/ house number and street
    *Local area (if necessary)
    *Village or town or city 
    (if the address is secluded but is near a village or town, 
    you can put "Nr" followed by the nearest named area, 
    but this is usually unnecessary. Print all letters in capitals)
    *County (again, this is not necessary if you have included the town and postcode)
    *Postcode (Print all letters in capitals)

    Address the Envelope by Declaring the Sender Info

    Declare your address as the return address to get your letter returned to you if it doesn't make it to its intended destination. Your return address should be stated clearly on the back of the envelope in this manner:

    *'Return Address.'
    *House number and street name
    *Local area or village name
    *TOWN (print in capital letters)
    *FULL POSTCODE (print in capital letters)

    Tips to address your envelope

    Here are a few tips to put in mind while addressing your envelope:

    1. Don't make use of punctuation marks like full stops or commas.
    2. Begin every line on the left; don't centre the lines.
    3. Ensure to include a postcode when you can; if you need help, use Royal Mail's Postcode finder.
    4. If sending on behalf of an organization, you can add a line.
    5. Be sure to leave a substantial margin of roughly 1.5cm around the entire address.
    6. If the address is handwritten, please use a pen or ink that is clearly against the colour of the envelope. Please do not use anything that may get smudged. If the address is in print, use a font that is easy to read and a colour contrary to the colour of the label/envelope, so it stands out. Also, use a font size of 10-15.
    7. It is unnecessary to include the county's name if you added the town and postcode. For instance, instead of stating ARNOLD NOTTINGHAMSHIRE NG5 6TH, write ARNOLD NG5 6TH. However, if you use the former, there's nothing wrong.
  • Choose the Right Postage

    The Kind of postage and how much postage you'll need is dependent on the size of your letter/parcel. Your postage determines how quickly your letter/parcel reaches its destination.

    In 1635, the letter's receiver had to pay for the postal service; however, from 1804, senders purchased the world's first adhesive postage stamp, and it has been so ever since then. Senders had to pay for postage costs.

    The postage price varies and is dependent on:

    1. The size, weight, and shape of your mail
    2. How quickly do you want the mail to arrive at its destination
    3. Tracking of the mail/ Confirmation of delivery

    You can weigh your mail, know the cost, and purchase postage stamps from any post office, grocery, or drug store. The stamp should be on the upper right-hand corner of the front of the envelope.

  • Mail Your Letter

    If you have the proper stamp and your address is correct, you can head over to the closest post box or take it to a post office to have your letter/parcel mailed.

    Types of Mail in the UK

    To mail a letter/parcel in the UK, you can choose between these options.

    1. UK Standard: Includes 1st Class and 2nd Class options; the difference is the delivery time and postage cost.
    2. The UK Signed: Includes confirmation that your essential item has safely arrived at its destination as you'll get a signature from the recipient once the mail is delivered.
    3. UK Guaranteed options: Includes guaranteed mail delivery at specific times.