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List of Postcodes in England - Comprehensive Guide

The UK postcode system is a key part of sending mail and parcels smoothly all over the country. This detailed guide looks at the different parts of the system. It covers everything from the postcode areas to the sectors that help define British post locations.

Key Takeaways

  • The UK has a total of 124 postcode areas, with about 20 postcode districts in each.
  • London is split into different postcode areas, each one part of Greater London and nearby places.
  • Places have different amounts of postcode districts, from 5 in Harrogate to 98 in Birmingham.
  • Special postcodes are used for specific needs, like British Forces Post Office addresses and government departments.
  • The ONSPD (Office for National Statistics Postcode Directory) keeps information on UK postcodes up-to-date. It also helps map postcodes to geographical areas.
List of postcodes in England

Introduction to Postcodes in England

Postcodes are a key part of the UK's mail system. They are crucial for sending mail smoothly and for many location-based services. The Royal Mail uses these codes to mark different areas. This makes sending and receiving post in England, and the whole UK, easier.

What is a Postcode?

A postcode is a mix of letters and numbers. It shows a specific place in the UK. They have five to seven characters. The first part is the outward code, and the smaller part is the inward code. Postcodes help post quickly find where it needs to go.

How are Postcodes Used?

  • The Royal Mail uses postcodes to manage mail better. Each postcode marks a small area.
  • They also help with things like setting insurance costs and counting people. They show what's near a place too.
  • England has 121 big postcode areas. They're made up of many smaller postcode districts, sectors, and units.
  • Postcode areas often get their name from nearby big cities or towns.
"Postcodes are essential for how the UK sends mail and offers location services."

Knowing about postcodes is very important in England and the wider UK. The system helps businesses, the government, and people. It makes sure everyone can mail and get things right.

Components of a Postcode

In the UK, a postcode has five to seven characters. These come in handy for addressing mail correctly in Britain. Knowing each part helps you use the postal service well.

Outward Code

The outcode starts a postcode, it's two to four characters. It begins with a letter and shows a big area, like a town.

Inward Code

The incode is the last three characters. This gives specific details, for example, a street or a building.

Postcode Area

The first one or two letters are the area code. They show the big place, like "L" for Liverpool.

District Code

A district code is in the outcode and is two to four characters. It pinpoints a smaller area within a postcode area.

Sub-District Code

Found in the outcode, this is three to four characters. It's for detailed locations, especially in busy cities like London.


The sector combines the district and incode's first letter. It normally describes a small spot, perhaps a few streets.


The unit is the last two characters. It's for a precise spot or building within the sector.

Breaking down a UK postcode shows how much info is hidden in it. This understanding is key for using the British postal system. It helps with sending mail to the right places.

"Postcodes are the foundation of the UK's address system, providing a structured and efficient way to identify and locate specific addresses throughout the country."
Postcode Component Description Example
Outward Code The first two to four characters of a postcode, representing a broad geographic area SW1
Inward Code The final three characters of a postcode, providing more specific location information 1AA
Postcode Area The first one or two letters of the outward code, denoting a larger geographic region SW
District Code Part of the outward code, consisting of two to four characters to represent a specific geographical area SW1
Sub-District Code Also part of the outward code, three to four characters long, often used in high-density areas SW1A
Sector Formed by the postcode district and the first character of the inward code, four to six characters long SW1A 1
Unit The last two characters of the full postcode, identifying a specific address or organization SW1A 1AA

This table gives a full picture of UK postcodes. It talks about British postal districts and uk location codes. They're important for understanding england postal geography.

Postcode Areas in England

The UK has 121 postcode areas, with most, 108, in England. These areas make mailing efficient. Each area covers a big space and splits into districts and sectors. This helps ensure mail goes where it needs to.

England has many well-known postcode areas. A few are:

  • London (E, EC, N, NW, SE, SW, W, WC)
  • Manchester (M)
  • Birmingham (B)
  • Leeds (LS)
  • Bristol (BS)
  • Nottingham (NG)
  • Sheffield (S)
  • Liverpool (L)
  • Newcastle (NE)
  • Plymouth (PL)

These england postcode list areas include cities, towns, and the countryside. Each gets divided into smaller parts. This makes the english postcode directory very detailed for mailing things easily.

Postcode Area Number of Districts
AB (Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Scotland) 40
AL (St Albans, Hertfordshire, East) 10
B (Birmingham, West Midlands, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, West Midlands) 79
BA (Bath, Somerset, Wiltshire, South West) 19
BB (Blackburn, Lancashire, North West) 15
BD (Bradford, West Yorkshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire Humber, North West) 27

The geodemographic postcodes in england help deliver mail efficiently. They're important for sending letters and packages across the UK. Knowing the postcode areas and how they're divided helps with delivering things on time.

List of Postcodes in England

England has many postcodes, each marking a special place. You'll find them in London's busy streets and small country villages. This list is your go-to for using the mail all over the country.

The full list includes:

  • AB - Aberdeen
  • AL - St. Albans
  • B - Birmingham
  • BA - Bath
  • BB - Blackburn
  • BD - Bradford
  • BH - Bournemouth
  • BL - Bolton
  • BN - Brighton
  • BR - Bromley
  • BS - Bristol
  • CA - Carlisle
  • CB - Cambridge
  • CF - Cardiff
  • CH - Chester
  • CM - Chelmsford
  • CO - Colchester
  • CR - Croydon
  • CT - Canterbury
  • CV - Coventry
  • CW - Crewe
  • DA - Dartford
  • DE - Derby
  • DG - Dumfries
  • DH - Durham
  • DL - Darlington
  • DN - Doncaster
  • DT - Dorchester
  • DY - Dudley
  • E - London
  • EC - London
  • EH - Edinburgh
  • EN - Enfield
  • EX - Exeter
  • FK - Falkirk
  • FY - Blackpool
  • G - Glasgow
  • GL - Gloucester
  • GU - Guildford
  • HA - Harrow
  • HD - Huddersfield
  • HG - Harrogate
  • HP - Hemel Hempstead
  • HR - Hereford
  • HU - Hull
  • HX - Halifax
  • IG - Ilford
  • IP - Ipswich
  • IV - Inverness
  • KA - Kilmarnock
  • KT - Kingston
  • KW - Kirkwall
  • KY - Kirkcaldy
  • L - Liverpool
  • LA - Lancaster
  • LD - Llandrindod
  • LE - Leicester
  • LL - Llandudno
  • LN - Lincoln
  • LS - Leeds
  • LU - Luton
  • M - Manchester
  • ME - Medway
  • MK - Milton Keynes
  • ML - Motherwell
  • N - London
  • NE - Newcastle
  • NG - Nottingham
  • NN - Northampton
  • NP - Newport
  • NR - Norwich
  • NW - London
  • OL - Oldham
  • OX - Oxford
  • PA - Paisley
  • PE - Peterborough
  • PH - Perth
  • PL - Plymouth
  • PO - Portsmouth
  • PR - Preston
  • RG - Reading
  • RH - Redhill
  • RM - Romford
  • S - Sheffield
  • SA - Swansea
  • SE - London
  • SG - Stevenage
  • SK - Stockport
  • SL - Slough
  • SM - Sutton
  • SN - Swindon
  • SO - Southampton
  • SP - Salisbury
  • SR - Sunderland
  • SS - Southend
  • ST - Stoke-on-Trent
  • SW - London
  • SY - Shrewsbury
  • TA - Taunton
  • TD - Galashiels
  • TF - Telford
  • TN - Tunbridge Wells
  • TQ - Torquay
  • TR - Truro
  • TS - Teesside
  • TW - Twickenham
  • UB - Southall
  • W - London
  • WA - Warrington
  • WC - London
  • WD - Watford
  • WF - Wakefield
  • WN - Wigan
  • WR - Worcester
  • WS - Walsall
  • WV - Wolverhampton
  • YO - York

This english postcodes list is great for anyone in England. It helps you send mail or find places easily. It's a key tool for understanding England's mail system and map.

Postcode Area Location Number of Postcode Districts
BT Belfast 81
ZE Lerwick 3
NE Newcastle upon Tyne 61
London Greater London 34
North West Region 19
Channel Islands Region 2
Northern Ireland Region 2
West Midlands Region 12
Scotland Region 12
East of England Region 11
East Midlands Region 11
South West Region 11
North East Region 4

This detailed england postcode list paints a picture of the country. It covers the towns and cities, but also the quiet spots. This guide is perfect for everyone, from businesses to researchers, wanting to understand the post.

Non-Geographic Postcodes

The UK has non-geographic postcodes alongside ones for specific locations. These unique codes have special uses in the postal system. They do not point to a particular area on a map.

Types of Non-Geographic Postcodes

The UK uses several kinds of non-geographic postcodes. These include codes for PO Box addresses, large users like busy companies, and codes for specific government services. Each type has its own function.

  • PO Box addresses: These postcodes help send mail to secure and private post office boxes, not homes or offices directly.
  • Large user postcodes: They are for businesses getting a lot of mail, above 500 items daily. This makes it easier to manage their post.
  • Postcode sectors for specific services: Some postcodes are just for certain services, like the armed forces or government work. They ensure mail reaches where it needs to go.

Numbering of Non-Geographic Postcode Districts

Non-geographic postcodes have a unique numbering setup. They are not numbered like traditional geographic codes. This makes them stand out.

For instance, look at "SO17 1BJ." It's for the University of Southampton but points to a non-geographic unit. This means a Post Office box, not a specific campus building. The system keeps these codes separate from the ones used for homes and businesses.

The UK's postal service constantly updates its postcode system. This includes making sure that non-geographic codes work smoothly. It's vital for accurate mail delivery across the nation.

Defunct Postcode Areas

The UK has had a well-established postcode system for a long time. But over the years, some postcode areas have been discontinued. Exploring these old postal zones offers a unique look at how the UK's mail system has changed.

London NE and S

In the late 1960s, London got rid of the NE and S postcode areas. This move aimed to make the capital's post system better. The NE and S codes were then mixed with others, like E and SW. This made sending and receiving mail more efficient.


In the 1970s, Glasgow's postcodes went through a big change. The old G postcode, being used since 1959, was updated. It became G1 to G84. This update matched the area's growth and changes. It gave a fresh start to the city's postal system.

Norwich and Croydon

Norwich and Croydon have also seen their postcode systems improve. The old NOR and CRO codes changed to NORWICH and CROYDON, shortening to NR and CR. This change aimed to make sending mail more straightforward for everyone, especially as cities grew.

Dublin, Ireland

In Dublin, Ireland's capital, the D postcode ended in the 1990s. This led to the start of Eircode. Eircode uses a special 7-character system for every Irish address. It's a step forward for Ireland's postal service.

Looking at these changes, we see how UK postcodes have adapted over time. They've changed to keep up with community and business needs. Knowing the history helps us understand today's UK postcode system better.

Formatting and Addressing in England

UK postcodes have a consistent format with the outward code and inward code separated by a space. For instance, SW1W 0NY or PO16 7GZ. This approach helps make postage more efficient across the United Kingdom.

Royal Mail suggests a certain format for UK addresses. Your address can have up to three lines of the premise, street, and locality. The last two lines include the post town and postcode.

To be valid, a premise needs essential elements like a company name or building number. It's best to avoid extra details like county or city names. These extras not only take up space but can also lead to errors.

When writing UK addresses, stick to the Royal Mail guidelines. Important tips include using capital letters for the post town and the right format for the postcode. Also, don't use full stops or commas. Addresses should be left-aligned. And use simple, clear fonts without bold or fancy styles.

Make sure the address is easy to read, with a minimum character width and height. There should be good contrast between the ink and the paper, too.

Best Practices for UK Address Formatting Example
  • Use the outward and inward code separated by a single space
  • Print the post town in capital letters
  • Correctly format the postcode on the last line
  • Avoid using full stops or commas
  • Left-align the address
  • Use non-proportionally spaced fonts
  • Ensure minimum character width of 2mm and height of 7mm
Buckingham Palace

By sticking to these rules, you can make sure your addresses are easy for the postal system to handle. This way, both the sender and the receiver have a smooth postage experience.

Postcode Databases and Services

The United Kingdom has a lot of postcode databases and services. They give detailed info about postal codes in England. They meet many needs, from finding a uk postcode to studying data from the royal mail postcode directory.

The english postcode database by Ordnance Survey is very reliable. It has info on over 1.7 million live postcodes in Great Britain. It's updated often to keep the data right. This resource helps understand borders, NHS codes, and more.

Looking for a british postcode finder? Ordnance Survey's Code-Point Open is a great choice. It's easy to use and has accurate postcode details. The data comes in different types, like CSV or GeoPackage, for various uses.

"The Code-Point Open data provides authoritative and up-to-date information on postcodes in Great Britain, with a high level of positional accuracy and analytical capabilities."

The UK also has tools to help use this postcode data. Postcode Lookup lets you find, learn about, and study postcodes. It even shows education rates.

The UK's postal system keeps getting better. Thanks to uk postcode lookup, royal mail postcode directory, and english postcode database, we can all find our way. These tools help businesses, researchers, and people understand postcodes easily and quickly.

Postcode Geography and Boundaries

The UK uses postcodes to help sort and deliver mail efficiently. However, these postcodes don't always match up with local or political area borders. They cover larger areas than just one town or city. This unique system shows us how mail moves around England.

Postcode geography is about how certain areas, districts, and sectors are labelled. Areas are marked by one or two letters, showing big regions like North West London ("NW") or Cardiff ("CF"). Districts, with numbers after the area, break these areas down more. Sectors, marked with the last number, get into even finer detail.

It's interesting that these postcode areas don't always match real-life borders. For example, one postcode district might cover parts of more than one local council area. This flexibility helps the mail service operate better and deliver post efficiently all over the UK.

There are also special postcodes that aren't tied to any specific place, like those for British Forces (BF) or Amazon returns (XX). Knowing about postcodes is important for both companies and people. It can help with planning, making choices, and looking at data in new ways.

If you want to know more about postcodes, you can use the ONS Postcode Directory (ONSPD). This gives lots of details about where each postcode is and its area. It helps anyone interested understand the UK's postal side better and its uses.

Postcode Area Representing Region
AB Aberdeen, Scotland
AL St. Albans, East of England
B Birmingham, West Midlands
BB Blackburn, North West
BL Bolton, North West
BF British Forces
BS Bristol, South West
CB Cambridge, East of England
CF Cardiff, Wales
CM Chelmsford, East of England
CR Croydon, Greater London
DA Dartford, Greater London
DD Dundee, Scotland
EN Enfield, Greater London
FY Blackpool, North West
G Glasgow, Scotland
GIR Girobank HQ
IP Ipswich, East of England
NP Newport, Wales
PL Plymouth, South West
RM Romford, Greater London
SA Swansea, Wales

The table shows some common postcode areas in the UK, like Aberdeen in Scotland ("AB") and St. Albans in the East of England ("AL"). The list demonstrates the range of areas across the country.

The image displays the complex network of postcode areas, districts, and sectors. Knowing about this system helps people and businesses use postal services more effectively. It can improve customer service and show where their audience lives.

Overall, the UK's postcode system is tailored for delivering mail, despite not exactly matching local borders. Understanding how postcodes work gives insight into the UK's many regions. It's helpful for many fields, from planning routes to analysing data.

Importance of Accurate Postcodes

Accurate postcode information is key in the UK. It's not just about being handy. Postcodes are a crucial part of the country's setup. They affect mail delivery and help understand people’s living areas.

In a 2016 Royal Mail survey, 92% of UK residents said they remember their postcode. This was more than the 77% who remember their debit card PIN. The survey also showed that 17% recall a postcode from 21 to 30 years ago. It proves the deep mark postcodes make on people's memories.

UK postcodes are a mix of letters and numbers, usually with 6 or 7 parts. Cognitive science helped design them. It showed that people can easily remember up to 9 pieces of info. So, postcodes were made with this limit in mind.

Accurate postcodes are not just about knowing your own. They make mail delivery work smoothly across the UK. Each postcode reflects a location. There are about 30 million places where mail is sent. This shows the huge job our postcode system does.

Postcodes also help us learn about the UK. With 121 postcode areas, they're great for studying different places. Postcodes divide London into ten parts. They also have special codes for military and large organizations.

To sum up, postcodes are critical in the UK. They help with mail, learning about areas, and planning. The system keeps improving. It stays very important in our country's life.

Postcode History in England

The UK postcode system began in the 1960s by the Royal Mail. It replaced the old postal district system from the late 19th century. The aim was to make sorting and delivering mail easier with a new geographically-based coding system.

Postcode history in England started in the early 20th century. In 1917, London got postcode districts, which were based on older unnumbered districts from 1856. Originally, London had eight compass points for districts. NE merged with E in 1866. SW area included two - South Western (SW1-10) and Battersea (SW11-20).

In 1923, Glasgow outside of London got its own postal districts. By 1931, big cities like Birmingham, Leeds, and others were thinking about doing the same. Norwich tried out a new code style in 1959, using 'NOR' then three street name letters.

The UK's postal codes started being used nationwide in 1966, beginning in Croydon with 'CRO'. They were then introduced to other cities. By 1974, the whole country had them, covering 120 areas.

Since then, the postcode system has seen many changes. For example, Newport started with NPT but changed to NP9. The numbering system usually places district 1 in a town's centre, with numbers increasing as you move further out.

Now, the UK has about 1.8 million postcodes for 29 million addresses. The postcode system is key to any UK address. The Royal Mail's postcode finder website gets millions of visits every year.

Year Event
1917 Postcode districts in London were established, based on unnumbered districts formed in 1856.
1923 Glasgow became the first city outside London to introduce postal districts.
1931 Postcode schemes were considered for cities like Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford, Liverpool, and Manchester.
1959 A postcode trial began in Norwich, where the code was in the format 'NOR' followed by the last three characters of a street name.
1966 Postcodes were introduced across the UK, starting in Croydon with the three-letter code 'CRO'.
1974 The national rollout of postcodes was completed, covering 120 postcode areas.

The story of postcodes in England shows how our postal system has changed over time. From London's first districts to the modern system all over the country, it's been an important step for mail delivery in the UK.

List of Postcodes in England

England has a great postal system with postcodes for every part of the country. It covers all sorts of places, from big cities like London, Birmingham, and Manchester to the charming cities of Bristol, Oxford, and Cambridge.

Major postcode areas in England include places like Aberdeen (AB), St. Albans (AL), Birmingham (B), Bath (BA), Blackburn (BB), Bradford (BD), Bournemouth (BH), Bolton (BL), Brighton (BN), Bromley (BR), Bristol (BS), Carlisle (CA), Cambridge (CB), Cardiff (CF), Chester (CH), Chelmsford (CM), Colchester (CO), Croydon (CR), Canterbury (CT), Coventry (CV), Crewe (CW), and Dartford (DA).

Also notable are Derby (DE), Dumfries (DG), Durham (DH), Darlington (DL), Doncaster (DN), Dorchester (DT), Dudley (DY), London (E), London (EC), Edinburgh (EH), Enfield (EN), Exeter (EX), Falkirk (FK), and Blackpool (FY). This detailed system of postcodes makes sure mail gets delivered well and people can easily find places all over England.

Postcode map of England


What is a postcode?

A postcode is like a mini address code used for sorting and delivering mail in the UK. It helps pinpoint different areas for mailing purposes. Each postcode covers a small region and has between five to seven characters.

How are postcodes used?

Postcodes make mail sorting and delivery in the UK easier. They also help to find specific areas and locate services nearby. So, they're pretty important in the UK's addressing system and for various uses.

What are the components of a UK postcode?

A UK postcode has five to seven characters. These include the outward and inward code, plus a few more parts. Together, they help identify different areas and locations clearly.

How many postcode areas are there in England?

England has 108 postcode areas, including major cities like London and Birmingham. Each covers its own part of the country. This makes it easier to find places when sending mail.

What is the format of a UK postcode?

The UK postcode looks like this: an outward code followed by an inward code, separated by a space. For example, SW1W 0NY or PO16 7GZ. This format is the same all over the UK, making it simple to use.

What are non-geographic postcodes?

Non-geographic postcodes in the UK don't point to a specific place. They're used for things like PO boxes and large organisations. These are postcodes with special needs, not for regular homes and streets.

Are there any defunct postcode areas in the UK?

Yes, some postcode areas in the UK are no longer in use. Places like London NE and S, and cities in Ireland, have seen their postcodes change. This happened as the system was updated over time.

What postcode databases and services are available in the UK?

There are many UK postcode services. The Royal Mail and British Postcode Finder are key ones. Plus, there are online tools for finding and checking postcode details.

Do postcode areas, districts, and sectors align with political or local authority boundaries?

Postcode areas and districts are more for mail than following local politics. They cover larger areas to sort mail effectively. So, they might not match government or council areas exactly.

Why is accurate postcode information important?

Getting postcodes right is key for many things in the UK, from delivering mail to finding places. It helps with services and businesses to work effectively. Accurate postcodes are vital for many sectors.

When was the UK postcode system introduced?

The UK got its postcode system in the 1960s, moving on from older ways. This change made mail handling more efficient by being based on locations. It brought a big improvement to the mailing process.

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