British Antarctic Territory

The British Antarctic Survey operates a few research stations in the British Antarctic Territory. Halley and Rothera are on the Antarctic Continent and south of the Antarctic circle. Signey Research Station is on the South Orkney island of Signey, just north of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Rothera is the main base of the British Antarctic Survey. It is located on west side of the Antarctic Peninsula. It is the capital of the British Antarctic Territory. The base consists of a number of buildings and can accommodate up to 130 people during the summer.

Halley VI is the current "version" of Halley Station and it just went into operation in February 2012 and officially opened in February 2013. It is located on the Brunt Ice Shelf which is slowly breaking off and flowing into the ocean. The base was constructed on skis so it can be moved around to keep if from being buried under the snow or from falling into the sea.

Signey is a small base in the South Orkney Islands that can accommodate up to 8 people. Primary research at the base is biological. It is a seasonal base, open only during the austral summer.

The few covers I have sent to the British Antarctic bases I sent through the Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau in Stanley. From there they meet up with the ships travelling down to the bases. I recommend contacting them to ask for instructions before investing time and money into creating covers and mailing them. I seem to remember waiting for a long time to get my covers back. At the time I used BAT stamps and I suspect (although I am not 100% certain) UK postage stamps are not valid.

Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau Post Office Stanley FALKLAND ISLANDS

Be sure to indicate where you want you cover(s) directed. Writing it in pencil on the back of the cover helps.

Another base of interest is Port Lockroy. This bases was abandoned in 1962 and later restored in 1996 by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust. They now operate a museum, gift shop and post office at the site. Apparently, it is the most visited travel destination in the Antarctic. You can make a request to UKAHT to have a cover brought down to the post office at Port Lockroy to be cancelled and returned to you. They do request that you make a small donation to their foundation for this service. Contact them directly (contact info on their website) to get a mailing address and advice on the best time to send covers to them. Don't expect much more than a postmark and the UKAHT cachet.

cover from Rothera Research Station cover from Signey Research Station cover from Port Lockroy

Additional information about polar philately and other stamp-related topics can be found in my Blog

last updated 28 October 2015