IELTS Writing Task 1 – Writing an informal letter

In the IELTS Writing paper Task 1 you may have to write an informal letter, for example to a friend or someone you know well. This means that your language can be more casual (e.g. It was great!) and you should be quite personal.

Have a look at this task, then check out our advice on how to answer the question and finally our sample answer.


You are planning a two week trip to London and would like some information before you go.

Write the letter to your friend who lives in the UK.

In your letter:

  • ask for advice on accommodation
  • ask what special attractions you should visit
  • enquire about the weather and what clothes to bring.

Begin your letter with ‘Dear…’.

You should write at least 150 words.

Advice on how to complete this task

Before you write

First, work out if the letter should be formal, neutral or informal. In this case, it is your friend so we know it should be informal. You must mention all three bullet points so think of some ideas for each of the points or you will lose marks on task achievement.

Writing Plan

The first sentence should start with a greeting and comment perhaps on when you last met or asking if they are well.

The bullet points could be set out in three separate paragraphs following the greeting.

Remember to use everyday vocabulary and informal, friendly tone throughout the letter.

Close with a positive, friendly comment.

Sample answer

Dear Jenny,

It’s been two years since I saw you. How are you? I hope things are going well for you at university in Edinburgh.

I am really excited, as I have planned a holiday to the UK this summer and will be there from 7th to the 21st of August, based in London.

I know you used to live there and hope you can advise me on any cheap accommodation in London, as it seems really expensive from my searches on the internet. I can only afford £30 a night.

What would you say were the main attractions I must visit? I intend to visit Buckingham Palace and the British Museum but what else is a definite must?

I heard the weather in August in London can be chilly with lots of rain. Is this true? Should I bring warm clothes and waterproofs?

Hope you can drop me some advice. I’ll try my best to pop up to Edinburgh over the two weeks if I can.

Lots of love,


(169 words)
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