Postal code (United Kingdom)

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In the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, postal codes in their current form were introduced first in Norwich from October 1959 and nationwide until 1974. The postal code is formed from letters and numbers according to one of the following schemes:

A0 0AA
A00 0AA
AA00 0AA

( A = letter, 0 = number)

The postal code is placed at the end of an address, after or below the place name, for example:

Duxford, Cambridge
CB22 4RG


The postal code consists of two parts separated by a space. A geographical division for the sorting and distribution of mail items is thus defined on a total of four different levels.

Postcode areas

Postcode areas of Great Britain, identified by the first letter combinations of the postcodes

The first level of classification uses a combination of one or two letters that is derived from the name of the postcode area to which the postcode applies, usually named after its main town.

Crown possessions of the British Crown

The islands under British Crown ownership did not introduce postcodes until the early 1990s.

British overseas territories

The combinations for British overseas territories consist of four letters (and in the case of Gibraltar, digits).

Further subdivision levels

The postcode areas are subdivided into postcode districts , which follow as a one- or two-digit code without a gap, together with the letter combination of the area, form the first part of the postcode ( outward postcode ).

Example: CB2 applies to the western part of the city of Cambridge .

The number-letter combination in the second part of the postcode ( inward postcode ) identifies the delivery post office or the delivery district ( postcode sector - as a one-digit code) and, without a gap, local districts , streets or street sections there ( unit postcode - as two letters).

Example: York Minster has the postal code YO1 7JF .

An exception to the above system is the city of London, which had postal districts based on the postal districts of 1856 even before the introduction of today's postal code system. These are still valid after a revision in 1917.

  • Central London: EC and WC (East Central and West Central respectively)
  • For the rest of the metropolitan area of ​​London: N , NW , SW , SE , W and E (North, North-West, South-West, South-East, West and East respectively)

Due to the size of London, additional postcodes have been created for the central districts by adding an additional letter to the first part of the postcode.

Example: London EC1 A 1AA.

Key UK agencies have their own postcodes.


SW1A 0AA - House of Commons
SW1A 0PW - House of Lords , Palace of Westminster
SW1A 1AA - Buckingham Palace
SW1A 2AA - 10 Downing Street , Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury
SW1A 2AB - 11 Downing Street, Chancellor of the Exchequer
SW1A 2HQ - Royal Treasury

The British overseas territories only have the designation 1ZZ as the second part of the postal code .

Example: Ascension Island, ASCN 1ZZ .

When creating the postcodes, certain rules and restrictions in the use and combination of codes and letters were taken into account in order to avoid problems in legibility and misinterpretations, especially with handwritten addresses.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A short history of the postcode. The Independent, January 26, 2002, archived from the original on February 25, 2011 ; accessed on June 26, 2014 (English).
  2. Postcode. Cabinet Office , October 2, 2009, accessed October 22, 2014 .

Web links

Commons : UK Post Code Maps  - Collection of Pictures, Videos and Audio Files