List of postcode areas in the United Kingdom

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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.[1] 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.

Subdivision

Each postcode area is further divided into post towns and postcode districts.[1] There are on average 20 postcode districts to a postcode area.[1] The London post town is instead divided into several postcode areas.[2]

Scope

The single or pair of letters chosen for postcode areas are generally intended as a mnemonic for the places served.[1] 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.[2] 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.[2]

United Kingdom postcode areas

AB postcode area AL postcode area B postcode area BA postcode area BB postcode area BD postcode area BH postcode area BL postcode area BN postcode area BR postcode area BS postcode area BT postcode area BT postcode area CA postcode area CB postcode area CF postcode area CH postcode area CM postcode area CO postcode area CR postcode area CT postcode area CV postcode area CW postcode area DA postcode area DD postcode area DE postcode area DG postcode area DH postcode area DL postcode area DN postcode area DT postcode area DY postcode area E postcode area EC postcode area EH postcode area EN postcode area EX postcode area EX postcode area FK postcode area FY postcode area G postcode area GL postcode area GU postcode area GY postcode area HA postcode area HD postcode area HG postcode area HP postcode area HR postcode area HS postcode area HU postcode area HX postcode area IG postcode area IM postcode area IP postcode area IV postcode area JE postcode area KA postcode area KA postcode area KT postcode area KW postcode area KW postcode area KY postcode area L postcode area LA postcode area LD postcode area LE postcode area LL postcode area LN postcode area LS postcode area LU postcode area M postcode area ME postcode area MK postcode area ML postcode area N postcode area NE postcode area NG postcode area NN postcode area NP postcode area NR postcode area NW postcode area OL postcode area OX postcode area PA postcode area PA postcode area PA postcode area PE postcode area PH postcode area PH postcode area PH postcode area PH postcode area PL postcode area PO postcode area PR postcode area RG postcode area RH postcode area RM postcode area S postcode area SA postcode area SE postcode area SG postcode area SK postcode area SL postcode area SM postcode area SN postcode area SO postcode area SP postcode area SR postcode area SS postcode area ST postcode area SW postcode area SY postcode area TA postcode area TD postcode area TF postcode area TN postcode area TQ postcode area TR postcode area TR postcode area TS postcode area TW postcode area UB postcode area W postcode area WA postcode area WC postcode area WD postcode area WF postcode area WN postcode area WR postcode area WS postcode area WV postcode area YO postcode area ZE postcode area ZE postcode area ZE postcode area ZE postcode area AL postcode area BR postcode area CM postcode area CR postcode area DA postcode area E postcode area EC postcode area EN postcode area GU postcode area HA postcode area IG postcode area KT postcode area N postcode area NW postcode area RM postcode area SE postcode area SL postcode area SM postcode area SW postcode area TN postcode area TW postcode area UB postcode area W postcode area WC postcode area WD postcode area WD postcode area BB postcode area BD postcode area BL postcode area CH postcode area CW postcode area DE postcode area DN postcode area FY postcode area HD postcode area HG postcode area HX postcode area L postcode area LA postcode area LL postcode area LL postcode area LS postcode area M postcode area NG postcode area OL postcode area PR postcode area S postcode area SK postcode area ST postcode area WA postcode area WF postcode area WN postcode area YO postcode areaMap of the United Kingdom and Crown dependencies showing postcode area boundaries
Map of postcode areas in the United Kingdom and Crown dependencies, with links to each postcode area
Postcode area Postcode area name[1][3] Code formation
AB Aberdeen
AL St Albans
B Birmingham
BA Bath
BB Blackburn
BD Bradford
BH Bournemouth
BL Bolton
BN Brighton
BR Bromley
BS Bristol
BT Belfast
CA Carlisle
CB Cambridge
CF Cardiff
CH Chester
CM Chelmsford
CO Colchester
CR Croydon
CT Canterbury
CV Coventry
CW Crewe
DA Dartford
DD Dundee
DE Derby
DG Dumfries[1] Dumfries and Galloway
DH Durham
DL Darlington
DN Doncaster
DT Dorchester
DY Dudley
E East London
EC East Central London
EH Edinburgh
EN Enfield
EX Exeter
FK Falkirk
FY Blackpool[1] The Fylde
G Glasgow
GL Gloucester
GU Guildford
HA Harrow
HD Huddersfield
HG Harrogate
HP Hemel Hempstead
HR Hereford
HS Outer Hebrides[1] First and last letters of Hebrides
HU Hull
HX Halifax
IG Ilford[1] Possibly Ilford and Chigwell, or Ilford and Barking[4]
IP Ipswich
IV Inverness
KA Kilmarnock
KT Kingston upon Thames
KW Kirkwall
KY Kirkcaldy
L Liverpool
LA Lancaster
LD Llandrindod Wells[1]
LE Leicester
LL Llandudno
LN Lincoln
LS Leeds
LU Luton
M Manchester
ME Rochester[1] Medway (now sometimes known as Maidstone[5])
MK Milton Keynes
ML Motherwell
N North London
NE Newcastle upon Tyne[6][7]
NG Nottingham
NN Northampton
NP Newport
NR Norwich
NW North West 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 South East London
SG Stevenage
SK Stockport
SL Slough
SM Sutton[1] Possibly Sutton and Morden, the two post towns that are within the SM area [4]
SN Swindon
SO Southampton
SP Salisbury[1] Salisbury Plain
SR Sunderland
SS Southend-on-Sea
ST Stoke-on-Trent
SW South West London
SY Shrewsbury
TA Taunton
TD Galashiels[1] Tweeddale
TF Telford
TN Tunbridge Wells[1]
TQ Torquay
TR Truro
TS Cleveland[1] Teesside
TW Twickenham
UB Southall[1] Uxbridge
W West London
WA Warrington
WC Western Central London
WD Watford
WF Wakefield
WN Wigan
WR Worcester
WS Walsall
WV Wolverhampton
YO York
ZE Lerwick[1] Zetland

Crown dependencies

The Crown dependencies (which are not part of the United Kingdom) did not introduce postcodes until later, but use a similar coding scheme. They are separate postal authorities.[1]

Postcode area Postcode area name
GY Guernsey
JE Jersey
IM Isle of Man

Defunct postcode areas

London NE and S

Glasgow

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.

Non-geographic postcodes

Note that a number of non-geographic postcode sectors are also contained within geographic postcode areas.

GIR

GIR 0AA is a postcode created for Girobank in Bootle. It remained in use by its successors when Girobank was taken over by Alliance & Leicester and subsequently by Santander UK.

BF

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 addresses. It uses the national non-geographic post town "BFPO" and, as of 2012, the postcode district "BF1".

BX

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 Banking Group (BX1 1LT) and parts of the HM Revenue and Customs like VAT Central Unit (BX5 5AT) and Pay as You Earn (BX9 1AS). Lloyds Bank also use BX4. After splitting from Lloyds, TSB Bank uses BX4 7SB, the latter part of which, when written, looks similar to "TSB".

QC

QC postcodes are used by awarding bodies when receiving examination scripts from centres via Parcelforce. For example, Edexcel use the postcode QC77 7ZZ.

XX

The non-geographic postcode XX10 1DD is currently used by Amazon.com to direct customer-returned items carried by Royal Mail to its Fulfilment Centre in Dunfermline, Scotland.[8] XX10 1AA appears to be in use for the same purpose by ASOS.com, although when questioned by numerous customers in 2016 and 2017, staff manning their Facebook page seemed to know nothing of it.[9] John Lewis returns also use the XX postcode. (XX10 1EE)

Boohoo also uses the postcode XX10 1BB

Overseas territories

Certain British overseas territories have postcodes:

Postcode Location
AI-2640 Anguilla[10]

ASCN 1ZZ
STHL 1ZZ
TDCU 1ZZ
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha:
Ascension Island
Saint Helena
Tristan da Cunha[11]
BBND 1ZZ British Indian Ocean Territory
BIQQ 1ZZ British Antarctic Territory
FIQQ 1ZZ Falkland Islands
GX11 1AA Gibraltar
PCRN 1ZZ Pitcairn Islands
SIQQ 1ZZ South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
TKCA 1ZZ Turks and Caicos Islands[12]
BFPO 57 / BF1 2AT(Akrotiri)
BFPO 58 / BF1 2AU (Dhekelia)
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
List Bermuda
List Cayman Islands
List British Virgin Islands
List Montserrat

These were introduced to prevent mail being sent to the wrong place, e.g., for St Helena to St Helens, Merseyside[13] and Ascension Island to Asunción, Paraguay, and many on-line companies will not accept addresses lacking a postcode. Such mail is treated as international, not inland, so sufficient postage must be used.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Address Management Guide (5th ed.). Royal Mail Group plc. March 2007. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c HMSO, The Inner London Letter Post, (1980)
  3. ^ 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. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Postcodes in the UK - Jonathan Rawle's Website". jonathan.rawle.org. Archived from the original on 29 April 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018. 
  5. ^ "Quarterly Quality of Service Report to Postcomm – 2009/10 Quarter 1 Report" (PDF). Royal Mail. 2009-08-20. pp. 4–8 (table 2). Retrieved 2009-11-06. [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Manger, Warren (26 August 2014). "40 facts about the postcode to mark 40th anniversary as vital part of daily life". mirror.co.uk. mirror.co.uk. Archived from the original on 16 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018. 
  7. ^ "History of the UK Postcode - Modern Origin". postcodearea.co.uk. postcodearea.co.uk. Archived from the original on 18 October 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2018. 
  8. ^ Amazon Help [@AmazonHelp] (24 October 2016). "@MarkWickson This postcode is a non-geographic code used by us for returns carried by Royal Mail to our returns center Dunfermline, SCT. ^SW" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  9. ^ "Log In or Sign Up to View". facebook.com. Retrieved 29 April 2018. 
  10. ^ "Anguilla Has A Postal Code, AI-2640", The Anguillian, 12 October 2007
  11. ^ First postcode for remote UK isle Archived 2008-12-24 at the Wayback Machine.. BBC News. 7 August 2005.
  12. ^ Turks and Caicos Islands. Bureau International UPU.
  13. ^ Landmark birthday for postcode[permanent dead link]

External links

Postcode area boundaries: Google

KML is from Wikidata
  • Office for National Statistics - Postal geography
  • OpenStreetMap - Postcode map
  • Strowger net: postcodes of the UK
  • Direct Marketing Lists UK postcode map
  • Business Lists UK postcode map
  • FREE Vector UK Postcode Maps
  • PostcodeArea - Demographics, maps, crime rates, house prices and local information for all UK postcodes
  • Strange Maps - Frank Jacobs - Diagrammatic Map
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