List of postcode areas in the United Kingdom
For the purposes of directing mail, the United Kingdom is divided by Royal Mail into postcode areas. The postcode area is the largest geographical unit used and forms the initial characters of the alphanumeric UK postcode. There are currently 121 geographic postcode areas in use in the UK and a further 3 often combined with these covering the Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man.
Each postcode area is further divided into post towns and postcode districts. There are on average 20 postcode districts to a postcode area. The London post town is instead divided into several postcode areas.
The single or pair of letters chosen for postcode areas are generally intended as a mnemonic for the places served. Postcode areas, post towns and postcode districts do not follow political boundaries and usually serve much larger areas than the place names with which they are associated. For example, within the PA postcode area the PA1 and PA78 postcode districts are 140 miles apart; and the eight postcode areas of the London post town cover only 40% of Greater London. The remainder of its area is covered by sections of twelve adjoining postcode areas: EN, IG, RM, DA, BR, TN, CR, SM, KT, TW, HA and UB.
UK postcode areas
|Postcode area||Postcode area name|
|IM||Isle of Man|
Defunct postcode areas
London NE and S
Glasgow, like London, was divided into compass districts: C, W, NW, N, E, SE, S, SW. When postcodes were introduced, these were mapped into the new G postcode: C1 became G1, W1 became G11, N1 became G21, E1 became G31, S1 became G41, SW1 became G51, and so on. As NW and SE had never been subdivided they became G20 and G40 respectively.
Norwich and Croydon
Norwich and Croydon were used for a postcode experiment in the late 1960s, which was replaced by the current system. The format was of the form NOR or CRO followed by two numbers and a letter, e.g. NOR 07A.
The BF postcode area was introduced in 2012 to provide optional postcodes for British Forces Post Office addresses, for consistency with the layout of other UK addresss. It uses the notional non-geographic post town "BFPO" and, as of 2012, the postcode district "BF1".
The non-geographic postcode area BX has been introduced for addresses which do not include a locality, this allows large organisations long-term flexibility as to where they receive their mail. This postcode area is used by Lloyds TSB (BX1 1LT) and the VAT Central Unit of HM Revenue and Customs (BX5 5AT).
Certain British overseas territories have postcodes:
Tristan da Cunha
|BBND 1ZZ||British Indian Ocean Territory|
|BIQQ 1ZZ||British Antarctic Territory|
|FIQQ 1ZZ||Falkland Islands|
|PCRN 1ZZ||Pitcairn Islands|
|SIQQ 1ZZ||South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands|
|TKCA 1ZZ||Turks and Caicos Islands|
These were introduced to prevent mail being sent to the wrong place, e.g., for St Helena to St Helens, Merseyside and Ascension Island to Asunción, Paraguay, and many on-line companies cannot accept addresses without a postcode. Such mail is treated as international, not inland, so sufficient postage must be used.
- Address Management Guide (5th ed.). Royal Mail Group plc. March 2007. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- HMSO, The Inner London Letter Post, (1980)
- Office for National Statistics (1999). The Official Yearbook of the United Kingdom (PDF) (2000 ed.). London: The Stationery Office. "UK Postal Areas", map opposite p. 5. ISBN 0-11-621098-2. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- "Quarterly Quality of Service Report to Postcomm – 2009/10 Quarter 1 Report". Royal Mail. 2009-08-20. pp. 4–8 (table 2). Retrieved 2009-11-06.
- "Anguilla Has A Postal Code, AI-2640", The Anguillian, 12 October 2007
- First postcode for remote UK isle. BBC News. 7 August 2005.
- Universal Postal Union document on Gibraltar
- Turks and Caicos Islands. Bureau International UPU.
- Landmark birthday for postcode
- Office for National Statistics - Postal geography
- OpenStreetMap - Postcode map
- Strowger net: postcodes of the UK
- Business Lists UK postcode map
- Strange Maps - Frank Jacobs - Diagrammatic Map -