Mail (Post) in Late 1880's Britain

I’m writing a story that involves a couple of scenes (via flashbacks) set in London, c. 1879 (I haven’t settled on a date yet).

How long would it take a personal letter to travel from London to a populous city in the US (say, Cincinnati or New Orleans)? How long would it take the same letter to travel from London to another city in Britain (say, Manchester or Newcastle)?

Thanks!

ETA: The title should be “Late 1800’s Britain.” Sorry.

I am not a 19th century postman, but according to Wikipedia there were already several transatlantic telegraph cables laid down by the 1880s, so a message could be communicated from London to anywhere in the US in the same day if you’re not too picky about the physical paper itself being delivered.

If it matters that the physical letter be delivered, then we’re looking at about 2 weeks to cross the Atlantic, and after that a day or two by train.

Blue Riband was an award for speed crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Pick your year and your ships and enjoy!

sneek down to the bottom, 1990s - one made it US to Spain in under 3 days @_@ all I can say about being on that one must have been a HOLY SHIT experience!

Within the UK, mail coaches had been superseded by trains by the mid-19th century, at least between main cities:

(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mail_coach )

Trains from London to Manchester took nine and a half hours when they started in the 1840s, and would have been quite a bit quicker by the 1880s. So I think it would be fair to say that a letter could get from London to Manchester overnight.

Remember, also, that there were far more postal deliveries each day than there are now - maybe half a dozen or more. People would write to each other within London and get replies the same day.