Last Royal Mail delivery dates for Christmas 2021 – full posting dates

Sending parcels at Christmas time can be a stressful job. There's picking the gifts, remembering addresses and, hardest of all, getting them in the post on time to arrive for Christmas Day.

One option is to get all your shopping and sending finished as early as possible and have everything done and dusted by mid-December.

But, for most of us, those levels of organisation are merely a dream, with the last-minute scramble to get everything done in time a much more realistic scenario.

So, read on to discover how long you have to send your presents in both the UK and abroad, including the last day you can expect it to be delivered.

What are the last postal dates for Christmas in the UK and abroad to get presents arriving on time?

The last days to send your Christmas post and packages in the UK and abroad can vary depending on where you're sending to and how quickly you want it to get there. Here's everything you need to know.

The last day to send Christmas post and parcels to UK addresses

The last day to send second class post is Saturday, December 18, 2021, in order for it to arrive in time for Christmas Day. This also applies to second class signed for, and Royal Mail 48 services.

Meanwhile, the last day to send first class post or parcels, either signed or unsigned, is Tuesday, December 21. This is also the last day to send Royal Mail 24 post and Royal Mail 48 Tracked.

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Couriers and specialist services will allow you to send your gifts a little later, although they may also be a little pricier. Gifts going with Parcelforce Worldwide don't need to be sent until Wednesday, December 22. The same applies for Royal Mail 24 Tracked services.

Special Delivery Guaranteed won't need to be sent until December 23, for those who have left thing really late. The same applies for Parcelforce Worldwide express24, AM, 9 & 10. services

It is worth noting that Royal Mail Tracked 24 and 48 cannot be bought at post office branches.

Sending overseas

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To get your gifts overseas the timings will vary depending on the location. Here's what the Post Office say for Royal Mail International Standard and International Tracking and Signature services.

Caribbean: Wednesday, 1 December

Australia, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal: Monday, December 6

Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Far East and Middle East: Wednesday, December 8

Cyprus, Malta, Sweden: Friday, December 10

Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia), Turkey: Saturday, December 11

Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Poland, USA: Monday, December 13

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland: Thursday, December 16

Do Royal Mail deliver on Christmas Day and Boxing Day?

The Royal Mail will not collect or deliver your post on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, and so it is worth ensuring that you get your post out the door well before the festivities get into full swing.

This year there will be four days without the service, as there are the two bank holidays on December 27 and December 28 due to the Christmas and Boxing days falling on the weekend.

Regular service is expected to resume on December 29.

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