Mailing address united kingdom: How to address mail to UK | UK address format


How to address mail to UK | UK address format

How to write a UK address

Step 1

After the recipient’s name, you need to write their house name or number and the street name. In our example, it’s 71 Cherry Court.

Some addresses may have a house or building name. If the property has a name this should be on one line after the recipient’s name, then the street name should go on the next line. 

If you’re sending to a business address, put the company name underneath the recipient’s name.

Step 2

Unlike an American address, where the town, state and ZIP code appear on the same line, the town and postcode is written on separate lines for a UK address.

On the line after the street name, you need to write the town or city, followed by the postcode on the next line. For clarity, the town and postcode should be written in capital letters.

Step 3

Finally, write the destination country. This seems obvious, but it’s amazing how many people forget! It’s best practice to write this in capital letters too.

London address format

If you’re sending a package to London, you should follow the same UK address format as above, making sure you include the correct London postcode.

London postcodes are used to divide London into geographic areas, these are West London, Central London, East London, North London and South London. This is segregated further into South West, South East, North West, West Central and East Central.

You can tell which part of London an address appears in by the postcode. For example, the address for Buckingham Palace is:

Buckingham Palace



The SW stands for South West London, while the numbers and letters after that refine it further to the street address. Most of the time, the first 4 letters and numbers will be enough, however, if you have the full postcode it’s always a good idea to use it.

Quick tips: How to address mail to the UK

  • Write the town and postal code on separate lines
  • No commas or full stops
  • Left align the text
  • Include your return address
  • Use a font or handwriting that is easy to read and clear
  • Use a pen or ink that is clear to see against the colour of your envelope or parcel
  • Use our shipping calculator to calculate the correct postage

Sending a package to the UK?

If you’re sending a parcel to the UK, Parcel Monkey can help you find a courier service that will ship your package to the UK at an affordable price. 

Simply enter the weight, dimensions and destination of your parcel into the Parcel Monkey shipping calculator to receive a list of discounted prices from reputable couriers, such as USPS, DHL and UPS. Select the service that’s best for you, print out your shipping label and you’re good to go!

Related links: 

How much is UK import tax? 

How to address your UK mail correctly

Why is it important to use correct addresses?

It is important to address mail and goods correctly to ensure they get delivered to the correct address first time. Mail which is not addressed correctly may take longer to process or be returned to the sender, which delays delivery and often upsets your customers.

Who specifies what address format is best?

Royal Mail is the UK’s postal authority and requires a certain standard of address formatting to ensure their processing of mail is efficient.

How should an address be formatted?

Some examples of various addresses in their correct format are as follows:

Business address with dependent locality
Information Example
Addressee’s name Mr A N Address
Company/Organisation Allies Computing Ltd
Building Name Manor Farm Barns
Name of thoroughfare (street) Fox Road
Dependent Locality (large villages) Framingham Pigot
Post Town (printed in capitals) NORWICH
Postcode (printed in capitals) NR14 7PZ

Note: a county is not part of a postally correct address.

Other elements which can be added to this format are:

  • Department
  • Sub-Building Name
  • PO Box Number
  • Double Dependent Locality (small village)
  • Dependent Street (a business park or cul-de-sac)
PO Box address (made up address to show correct formatting)
Information Example
Addressee’s name Mr A N Address
Company/Organisation ADD Ltd
Department IT Department
PO Box Number PO Box 789
Post Town (printed in capitals) LONDON
Postcode (printed in capitals) W5 5YZ
Address with no street (made up address to show correct formatting)
Information Example
Addressee’s name Mr A N Address
Premise Manor Farm
Post Town (printed in capitals) COUNTRYLAND
Postcode (printed in capitals) XY14 2LG
Address with house number and street
Information Example
Addressee’s name Prime Minister
House number with thoroughfare (street) 10 Downing Street
Post Town (printed in capitals) LONDON
Postcode (printed in capitals) SW1A 2AA

Who will benefit from formatting addresses correctly?

Any business who collects customer address data over the phone, online, in the post, or who performs direct mailings, can benefit from addressing their mail correctly. Individuals sending personal post and packages will also benefit.

What are the benefits of using addressing tools?

For businesses
  • Improves your record keeping so that customers address details are kept accurate and up-to-date
  • Consistent format and ready for any mail shots you send out – nobody likes to receive badly addressed mail
  • Speeds up address collection, saving you time
  • Website purchase processes are easier and shorter, increasing online sales and conversion rates
  • Increases the number of goods that get delivered first time
  • Reduces the number of undelivered/returned items and associated costs and time
  • A professional image of your company is presented to your customers
For individuals

You can be confident that you have prepared your mail as best you can ready for Royal Mail processing to help it get to the correct place, first time. This means you won’t have to pay to send it out again.

Postcoder address lookup and validation

Postcoder address lookup API by Allies provides the fastest, most reliable way to capture accurate addresses.

Postcoder enables people to use their postcode to lookup and fill in their address. Postcode lookup is up to 80% faster than typing an address manually. Automatic address verification provides addresses that are 100% up to date and postally correct.

Find out more about Postcoder >

how to write a British address, find / look up British addresses, international postal rates (postage) to or from the United Kingdom, find postcodes / postal codes for the United Kingdom, etc.

United Kingdom (Great Britain, England, Scotland, Wales, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, U.K., Northern Ireland) Mailing Address Formats and Other International Mailing Information: how to write a British address, find / look up British addresses, international postal rates (postage) to or from the United Kingdom, find postcodes / postal codes for the United Kingdom, etc.
[ UP to International Mailing Address Formats Main Page ]

for mailing letters or packages to or from the United Kingdom,

such as postal rates to (or from) the United Kingdom, finding British addresses, British postcodes, etc.

When mailing an envelope or postcard, leave at least the bottom 16 millimeters (5/8 inch) blank on both front and back. (The postal service’s reading and sorting machines might need this space to print bar codes on your mail.)

Address Format Information

Royal Mail Guide to Preparing Mail – Addressing

Some oddities of the Royal Mail include:

  • A preference for the return address to be on the back of the envelope.
  • A Locality line that only some addresses have (between the street address and town/city.)
  • The “full stops” you are requested not to use in an address are periods.

From the Royal Mail website (as of September 2009):

“What is a correct Postal Address?

Every house and business in the UK has a complete postal address that helps Royal Mail deliver mail quickly, accurately and cost effectively.
We’ve laid out below the elements that make up a postal address and those that are required for us to deliver mail.

AddressIs it Required?Information
Mr A SmithWhen applicableAddressees Name
Acme PlcWhen applicableCompany/Organisation
Acme HouseYes (except if it has a number)Building Name
3 High StreetYesNumber of building and name of thoroughfare
Hedle EndYes but only if a similar road name exists within a Post Town area Locality Name
SOUTHAMPTONYesPost Town please print in capitals
SO31 4NGYesPostcode please print in capitals
You do not need to include a County name provided the Post Town and Postcode are used.”

The Royal Mail (British Postal Service) keeps reorganizing their website, but you might find addressing information here and/or here.

Address Format Examples

Nildram Systems

   Nildram Ltd         [recipient]
   Ardenham Court      [probably the building name: see Format Information.  Not all addresses have this part.]
   Oxford Road         [street name]
   AYLESBURY           [postal town (town/city)]
   BUCKINGHAMSHIRE     [county (not needed)]
   HP19 3EQ            [postal code]
   UNITED KINGDOM      [country name]
from the UPU:

   Mr. Walter C. Brown
   49 Featherstone Street
   EC1Y 8SY
Google ad(s) are sometimes shown above.

Postcode Search (find United Kingdom postcodes / postal codes = ‘British zip codes’)

Post Code Finder provides U.K. postcode search.

Address Validation, Verification, and/or Correction

Click on the “Find an Address” tab for a form that provides some free address validation help.
Limited number of free searches per day.

Postal Rates to or from the United Kingdom

Postage calculators and tables showing how much postage you need to mail or ship to and/or from the United Kingdom are at the International Postal Rates Page.

Finding Out Addresses (such as addresses in United Kingdom / United Kingdom address search)

See Finding An International Address / Address Search.

Copyright, Trademark/Service Mark Information, General Disclaimer, and Privacy Policy Link

&copy Copyright 1999-2013 by BitBoost Systems. All Rights Reserved.

BitBoost and BitBoost Systems are trademarks and service marks of BitBoost Systems.

We have composed and provided our own annotations for most addresses, so even if a source is given or suggested for an address, copyright on our own annotations remains our own. This is true even in the eventuality that someone adopts the form(at) of our annotations and/or copies some or all of our annotations, whether they do so under fair use or not.

Although these links and other information were compiled by BitBoost Systems personnel primarily for the use of such personnel: None of the information included or linked to is guaranteed by BitBoost Systems to be available or correct. Nor is it guaranteed by any personnel or organizations associated with BitBoost Systems. BitBoost Systems takes no reponsibility for the results of using such links or other information.

Privacy Policy link

This website addresses such issues as
“How to write a British address?”
“How to address mail to the United Kingdom.”
“How much postage should I use to mail my letter or package to the United Kingdom?”
“…how much postage to the United Kingdom?”
“Instructions for addressing mail to the United Kingdom.”
“Instructions for addressing packages to the United Kingdom.”
“How to send mail to the United Kingdom.”

How To Address Mail | Post Office

When posting something to someone in the UK, write the address like this:

Addressees’ name
House number and street name
Locality name (if needed)
Town (please print in capitals)
Full postcode (please print in capitals)

Handy tips

  • Don’t use full stops or commas
  • Start each line on the left (don’t centre the lines)
  • You don’t need to write the name of the county if you’ve included the town and postcode


Return address

If you want to make sure your post can get back to you, don’t forget to include your UK return address on each item. Items that cannot be delivered will be returned to you.

How to address an international item

The way you write international postal addresses may vary between countries, but here’s a good guideline:

Addressee’s name
House number and street name
City or town
Province, state or department and postal code

COUNTRY (please print in capitals & use English name)

Handy tips for international post

  • Include the right international postcode
  • If your item is going to Europe, put the postcode to the left of the town – eg 11780 ATHENS
  • Always write the town and country in capital letters, with the full country name appearing last in the address (no abbreviations)
  • Don’t forget the Air Mail sticker – unless you’re using International Economy
  • Remember to include your return address


Return address

If you want to make sure your post can get back to you if undelivered, don’t forget to include your UK return address on each item.

Just remember that your return address needs to be in the UK. If you include a return address that’s in the destination country, it won’t be accepted.


If you’re sending a package outside the European Union, you’ll need a customs label. You can get all the customs forms you need at the Post Office.

  • Is your package worth up to £270? Make sure you attach a completed and signed CN22 label. Put it on the front of the item, as near as possible to the top left hand corner – just don’t cover up the address.
  • Is your package worth more than £270? Remember to attach the top part of the CN22 and a CN23 form in a plastic wallet (SP126).
  • As well as your customs label, you’ll need to sign to confirm that the item doesn’t contain anything restricted by postal regulations.  For more info on international post restrictions, click here.
  • Make sure that you’ve written the name and address of the person who signed the CN22 on the front of the package once it’s attached.
  • If you have any questions please ask in your Post Office branch – our staff will be happy to help.CN22 and CN23 customs labels are available from your local Post Office® branch.
  • Under customs law, the sender is legally responsible for the information on the declaration; therefore it is in your own interest to ensure that the declaration is completed accurately and in full.

UK Address Guidelines

Ensure your mail is correctly addressed with our UK clear addressing guidelines

Updated 24 Feb 2021

Correct UK Address Formatting

The more correctly formatted your address is, the faster and more reliably your mail or package will be delivered to that premise.

Required Addressing Details 📬

In the UK, there are a number of specific addressing elements that constitute a well formed address.

A full address should include a premise identifier, street details, post town and the postcode. The most essential part of the address is the postcode as it carries the most information.

Royal Mail recommend the premise, street and locality information occupy up to three lines while the post town and postcode make up the last two.

Information Example Notes
Addressee’s name Mr. Phillips Gaillard Only required if applicable
Number, name and street name Gunnersbury House, 1 Chapel Hill This identifies the specific premise. This element along with the company name can be split across 3 lines. A company name can also form part of the premise identifier.
Locality London Locality elements other than the post town are less critical. But occasionally an address can have additional locality elements attached to it.
Post town London A required part of all postal addresses in the UK. Should be uppercased and new line
Postcode A11 B12 Should be correctly formatted and occupy the last line on its own

Identifying a Premise

To be a valid premise at least one of the 4 premise elements must be present

  • Company name
  • Building number
  • Building name
  • Sub building name

So Barclays Bank Plc, Flat 1, 10, Suite 5, 11 are all valid premise identifiers.

Must Haves ✅

  • The Addressee if applicable like the recipient name
  • A premise identifier such as a building number, name or organisation
  • The address post town
  • A valid Postcode

Things You Won’t Need ⛔️

Adding unnecessary address details can do more harm than good. Unnecessary address fields create more information to sift through, creating a larger surface area for mistakes to appear and occasionally can be misleading.

  • County. Adding county information to an address does not make it easier to route. Royal Mail recommend against including county. Sometimes county information create more confusion than clarity
  • Village, burrough, city or town name. As long as you’ve correctly specified the post town and/or postcode, these are unimportant details
  • Country. Unless you are delivering internationally, Royal Mail actually recommend against including country

Things to Note ✍️

  • Some addresses are just the organisation name, post town and postcode. So it is often a good idea to not remove this from the address during collection
  • County names should very much be avoided to identify a premise

How an Address Should Look

Here are a list of suggestions on how your address should be presented to help speed things up and ensure accurate delivery

  • Don’t use full stops or commas
  • Keep addresses left aligned (i.e. not centered)
  • No individual element is wrapped over two lines
  • Post town is printed in capitals
  • Postcode is upper cased and correctly spaced
  • No blank lines
  • No two words more than 5mm apart


Royal Mail have specific recommendations on how an address should be printed. The general principle behind this, is to make it more readable for humans and machines. The guidelines for this are:

  • No fancy fonts (e.g. handwriting)
  • No bold text or underlines
  • Stay away from serifed fonts
  • Non-proportionally spaced fonts (i.e. monospaced) are preferred
  • Keep a consistent font size and colour
  • Keep a minimum character width of 2mm
  • Keep a minimum character height of 7mm
  • Ensure sufficient contrast between the font and printing medium

Additional Information

If you require assistance on completing a UK address, you can input part of the address details into our Address Finder demo. Select the relevant suggestion and the full address will appear.

To programmatically organise your address data into a standardised format recognised by Royal Mail, you can use our UK Clear Addressing Library. This project produces 3 address lines and premise attributes based on building_name, sub_building_name and building_number.

How to address mail clearly, guide to clear letter addressing

These guidelines show the best way to address your mail for fast delivery in the UK and abroad.

Write the address clearly on the front following our clear addressing guide lines and always include a postcode when you can. You can search for up to 50 postcodes or addresses, free of charge, with our Postcode Finder.

Addressing your item

  • The name and address go on the bottom left corner of the front of the envelope or parcel.
  • Use a clear and easy to read hand writing (or font if you are printing the address).
  • Use a pen or ink that is clear against the colour of the envelope or parcel.
  • Left align the text (no centred or ‘stepped’ lines).
  • No commas or full stops.
  • Leave a generous margin around the address.
  • Place the correct postage on the top right.
To protect you and the recipent’s privacy please don’t include telephone numbers or email addresses on the outside of your item.

Remember to include a return address  so if for any reason your item can’t be delivered, we can send it back to you.

Write the words ‘return address’ on the back of the envelope and underneath that, the actual return address.

Best way to write a UK address


British Forces Post Office (BFPO) addresses

The address layout is:

Service Number, Rank and Name  
Operation or Location Name (if applicable)
BPFO Number

Please note:  the town and country mustn’t be included
Please go to our HM Forces Mail page for full details, and any restrictions.
A full list of BFPO addresses is available at

Typical way to write an address to an international destination

Using coloured envelopes (Tip – stick on a white label with black ink.)

It’s important that the address shows up against the colour of your envelope.

Address format in detail

Top lines

Write or print the name of the person (or people) you are sending to on the first line, above the address. It’s best to include their surname as well as their first name.

You can add a line for an organisation name.

Middle lines

Use a line for the property number and street name.

If the property has a full name, this can take up one line and drop the street name onto the next line.

Next line can be used to name the local area or village name.

Next line should be for the town. Write the name of the town in capital (upper case) letters.

There is no need to include a county name, your letters and parcels will reach your intended recipient without one. If, however, you’d prefer to include a county name, you’ are welcome to do so.

Bottom line

UK destination: The final line should be the UK postcode, again in capital letters.
International destination: After the area code, add the country name to the final line, again in capital letters.

Address formats for specific countries:


The State abbreviation should be inserted on the same line as, and between, the town and the postcode.

Mr J Brownhall
264 High Street


Herr Franz Huber
Beethovenstrasse 12
1010 WIEN


Mr Willy Janssens
Lange Stationsstraat 352

M. Emile Dubois
Rue du Diamant 215


Sr. Ronaldo Ganclaves
Av Paulista 952, Apto 16
01311-300 Sâo Paulo – SP


Dr Tzantcho Gantchev
Dimo Hadjikimov 6
1606 SOFIA


M. Jen Durand
150 Rue Nepeau App5


Ana Car
Ilica 25
41 000 ZAGREB

Czech Republic

M. Miroslav Ondevejka
Fibichova 92
125 02 PRAGUE 3


Mr Thor Nielsen
Tietgensgade 137

Mr Torben Raldorf
PO Box 100


Mr Asko Teirila
PO Box 511


When addressing mail to France, write the addressee’s surname in CAPITAL letters.

M. Robert MARIN
Rue de l’Eglise

Mme Marie PAGE
23 Rue de Grenell


Germany has strict rules about receiving mail, which, if ignored, may result in your mail being returned to you with no attempt at delivery. When addressing mail to Germany, always:

  • Use the new five-digit postcode (using an old four-digit postcode will cause delay)
  • Put the postcode before the town name
  • Put the house number after the street name

Mrs F Meier
Weberstr. 2
53113 BONN 1

Mr P Kunde
Lange Str. 12


Mr George Latsis
Alkamenou 37
117 80 ATHENS


M. Horvath LASZLO
Kossuth u.7


Mr Jon Jonsson
Einimel 80


In 2015 a seven digit postcode system was developed for Ireland and should be used in all addresses, other than those for PO Boxes.
All mail for Ireland should now be addressed as illustrated below:

80 Abbey Street Middle
DO1 P8N3

The introduction of the new codes will not in any way affect the existing address structure. The postcode will occupy a new line at the bottom of addresses for domestic mail and the penultimate line for international mail.


Mr G Kaul
27 Rue Yafo


Sig. Giovanni Masci
via Garibaldi 27


Mr Yushi Morimoto
504 Kasumigaseki 1 chome

Republic of Korea

Mr Hong Kil-Dong
100 Sejongno, Jongno-gu
SEOUL 110-050


M. Jaques Muller
71 route de Longway


Mr Joaquim Cepeda
San Antonio Abad 120 – Piso 4


As France

The Netherlands

There should be a double space between the postcode and the post town

Mr J van Dieten
Morsstr 111

New Zealand

Mr B Parker
64 Waterloo Quay


Herr Hans Hansen
Svingen 22


Mr Jan Kalinkowski
ul Cicha 5
62-806 KALISZ


Senhor Carlos Manuel Pereira
Av das A’Augsa Livres
Monte Trigo

Rosalina Silva
R Conde Redondo 80


Mr Gheorghe Petraru
Bd Golescu 38


Ivanova I.S.
Oulitsa Gagagin 7
103375 MOSCOW

Republic of Serbia

Items for the former Yugoslavia should be addressed to the relevant Republic.

Mr Stevan Raukovic
Palmoticeva 2

Republic of Singapore

Mr Tan Kay Hui
532 Chai Chee Road

Slovak Republic

M Jan Kemr
Olsanka 18


The province should be included in brackets after the town.

Sra Ana Jimenez
Mimbreras 4
03201 ELCHE (Alicante)


Fru Inger Lilja
Vasavagen 3 4tr


M. Andre Perret
Schanzenstrasse 7
3030 BERNE


Mr Sudhorn Yoothong
13/54-26 Chaeng Waltana Road
Bang Kehn


Mr Mazhar Alkan
Iskele Caddesi 35
06101 ANKARA


Mrs L Projivalsky
252001 KIEV
Prospect F Skaryna


If only the first half of the postcode is known, this will be sufficient, although both parts are preferred. The abbreviation USA is also acceptable.

Mr Joe Engle
1612 Dexter Street

Mr Bill Harrison
347 L’Enfant Plaza SW
WASHINGTON DC 20260-6500

Addressing Mail to the United Kingdom – Knowledgebase

Addressing mail to the United Kingdom can be confusing. After researching the topic, we have found some issues. This document will describe the issues and our solutions.


To properly understand the problem, you must understand all the players.

        • ENGLAND is one of the countries of Britain.

        • SCOTLAND is one of the countries of Britain.

        • WALES is one of the countries of Britain.

        • NORTHERN IRELAND is a jurisdiction having approximately the same status as England, Scotland, and Wales, but on a different island.


The UNITED KINGDOM is the union of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, including whatever islands are also included in those countries. The full name of the United Kingdom is THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND. The United Kingdom itself is a country. Thus it is a country that is made up of four countries. A country made of countries might seem a paradox, yet the countries that make up the UK, especially England, Scotland, and Wales, do not think of themselves as anything less; Scotland has its own Parliament and banknotes, Wales has its own language and National Assembly, all three have national identities going back more than a thousand years, and the Encyclopedia Britannica calls them countries (next item). Perhaps more to the point, ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, WALES, and NORTHERN IRELAND are listed in the USPS Index of Countries and Localities. (According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term UNITED KINGDOM was first used in 1801 and, until 1921, included Ireland.)

(taken from

Proper Addressing

The USPS prefers that all mail to England, Scotland, or Wales be addressed with GREAT BRITAIN. Northern Ireland should be addressed as NORTHERN IRELAND. (The United States Postal Service has computer systems that use UK as an abbreviation for “Ukraine”.)

Receiving Addresses from eBay

Currently, whenever a buyer in any of the four UK countries purchases an item from you, eBay returns United Kingdom as the buyers country.

The Problem

Technically eBay is simply returning the buyer’s country, and UK is therefore correct. The problem arises because of the “country in a country” paradox. The different countries within the UK require different addressing, but eBay returns only one country code for all 4 countries. Therefore, SixBit can not tell which of the 4 UK countries the buyer is from.

The Solution

Although eBay returns UNITED KINGDOM whenever the buyer is in any of the 4 previously mentioned countries, we have chosen not to save UNITED KINGDOM. Since this is not the preferred mailing address of any of the 4 countries, it would likely be rejected by the USPS and may cause issues.

Instead, we store GREAT BRITAIN as the text for any of the UK countries. This will provide accurate country identification on shipping labels to England, Scotland, and Wales. However, it will not provide the preferred addressing to Northern Ireland.

In addition, we have added “Northern Ireland” as a country that you can specify. eBay will never return this country, but if you happen to know it, you can select it.

Since there currently is no way to tell if a buyer is from Northern Ireland,  there really is no other way to do it.

United Kingdom 🇬🇧 – Postal Code

Home page ” International ” Great Britain

This is the United Kingdom Post Code page. This page includes the following content: code method, envelope example and address format, way to spell zip code correctly, link for zip code queries.

Envelope Example

Coding by method

The UK area index consists of 5-7 digits, including numbers and eg:


represents the Postal Area, 1Y represents the postal area, 8 represents the postal sector, SY represents the delivery point.

address format

 Mr. Walter C. Brown
49 Featherstone Street


UK zip code areas

  • AB Aberdeen
  • AL St. Albans
  • B Birmingham
  • BA Bath
  • BB Blackburn
  • BD Bradford
  • BH Bournemouth
  • BL Bolton
  • BN Brighton
  • BR Bromley
  • BS Bristol
  • BT Northern Ireland
  • 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
  • DH Durham
  • DL Darlington
  • DN Doncaster
  • DT Dorchester
  • DY Dudley
  • E London E
  • EC London EC
  • EH Edinburgh
  • EN Enfield
  • EX Exeter
  • FK Falkirk
  • FY Blackpool
  • G Glasgow
  • GL Gloucester
  • GY Guernsey
  • GU Guildford
  • HA Harrow
  • HD Huddersfield
  • HG Harrogate
  • HP Hemel Hempstead
  • HR Hereford
  • HS Outer Hebrides
  • HU Hull
  • HX Halifax
  • IG Ilford
  • IM Isle of Man
  • IP Ipswich
  • IV Inverness
  • JE Jersey
  • KA Kilmarnock
  • KT Kingston Upon Thames
  • KW Kirkwall
  • KY Kirkcaldy
  • L Liverpool
  • LA Lancaster
  • LD Llandrindod Wells
  • LE Leicester
  • LL Llandudno
  • LN Lincoln
  • LS Leeds
  • LU Luton
  • M Manchester
  • ME Medway
  • MK Milton Keynes
  • ML Motherwell
  • N London N
  • NE Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • NG Nottingham
  • NN Northampton
  • NP Newport
  • NR Norwich
  • NW London NW
  • 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 SE
  • SG Stevenage
  • SK Stockport
  • SL Slough
  • SM Sutton
  • SN Swindon
  • SO Southampton
  • SP Salisbury
  • SR Sunderland
  • SS Southend on Sea
  • ST Stoke on Trent
  • SW London SW
  • SY Shrewsbury
  • TA Taunton
  • TD Galashiels
  • TF Telford
  • TN Tonbridge
  • TQ Torquay
  • TR Truro
  • TS Cleveland
  • TW Twickenham
  • UB Southall
  • W London W
  • WA Warrington
  • WC London WC
  • WD Watford
  • WF Wakefield
  • WN Wigan
  • WR Worcester
  • WS Walsall
  • WV Wolverhampton
  • YO York
  • ZE Lerwick


  • PostCodeBase: United Kingdom Postal Code
  • YouBianKu: United Kingdom Postal Code
  • official website (in English)
  • Zip code view (English)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Code of type and position Example (English, PDF file)
  • UK Postal Codes

External Link

  • Wikipedia: UK
  • Area Code UK
  • AreaCodeBase: UK Area Code Database
  • BizDirLib: UK Business Directory Database
  • PostCodeBase: UK Country Postal Code
  • YouBianKu: UK ZIP Code

London Postcodes | Useful

Postcodes in London have the same meaning as in Russia.The main difference is that in Russia it is a six-digit number (eg 127000), while in London it is a set of letters and numbers (eg EC2M 7QH). When you write your next direct to England, remember what you are reading now.

How to read the postal code of London
To understand how to read the postal codes, you need to know how the 4 parts of the world are called in English.
South – South,
North – North,
West – West,
East – East,
Center in English – Center.

Accordingly, the first part of the index begins with the first letter of the part of the world. That is, it indicates in which side of London the address is located.

London postcode examples:
Let’s look at an example of a postcode for the capital of England and try to determine where they are.
W10 6HJ – west,
NW6 7QL – northwest,
E1 1BY – east,
SE18 6EU – southeast,
N16 6YA – north,
WC2N 6RQ – center-west,
EC1Y 1BE – center-east.

Until the middle of the 19th century, there were also indices: South (S) and North-East (NE). They have since been canceled and are now being replaced by the abbreviation of nearby cities (e.g. CR in Croydon or EN in Enfield

Next, letters are followed by one or two numbers.
These numbers were originally assigned in alphabetical order to the nearby administrative center.

For example, zip code
E1 in Aldgate,
E2 in Bethnal Green,
E3 Bow,
E5 Clapton,
E8 Dalston,
E9 Hackney etc.

Examples of addresses in London with zip code (in English)

At the beginning, the name of the object is written, then the house number, followed by the street, city, and only at the very end – the postal code:

Below is the address of the famous Selfridges & Co department store
Selfridges & Co
400 Oxford Street

And here is Big Ben’s office address in London
Parliament Squar
St Margaret Street,

Address of Freddie Mercury’s house in London
Logan Pl
W8 6QN

Don’t forget about the space in the index!

On the UK index system: moscowlondon – LiveJournal

Today in the Emigrant’s Notes we will talk about the UK postal codes.The topic is boring only at first glance. If you dig around, there is a sea of ​​interesting things.

The British still write a lot of letters. Not so much personal as working. We receive 2-3 letters a day from banks, all kinds of loyalty programs, hotels, airlines, etc. They send letters not because they are so backward, but because the post office works many times better than in Russia. The country is relatively small, so letters or parcels can be delivered easily, quickly and relatively cheaply. This gives a huge boost to online businesses and sites like ebay.

I already wrote about this advertisement for Royal Mail – Royal Mail. Here we are just talking about what role they play for small businesses:

Well, it helps to quickly deliver a letter or a parcel to the right place, respectively, the postal code. Interestingly, indices in Britain are still handwritten. There are no “rules” for writing the index as in Russia, where the numbers must be outlined on a special stencil in a certain way. So you write the address and zip code by hand, glue the stamp and put it in the mailbox.First or Second class, depending on the brand, respectively.

Photo by ***** \\ MOXXO // *****

Quick English lesson: in America, the index is a zip code (consists of 5 digits, the most famous is , you know Where). In Britain this is called the post code.

In contrast to Russia, British indexes consist, firstly, not of six, but secondly, not only numbers, but also letters. The UK standard postcode is a set of 5-7 numbers and letters with a space in the middle.

The first part of the index is a specific area. There are 124 such regions in total. Check it out, please, the distribution of the first half of the index on the map of the country.

British insurers have long noticed that some “indices” are much more dangerous than others. Therefore, insuring the same car against theft in one area can be more expensive to build than in another.

There is even such a thing as postcode lottery or index lottery. The lottery here lies precisely in the fact that your index determines such things as the amount of insurance, the distribution of the state budget, funding for schools, hospitals, and so on.Here’s a typical collage hit by a socialist: “The Index Lottery. Achieving Goals. Losing Meaning” is a rock in the garden of Labor and their efforts to make the NHS (National Health System) more effective.

In general, for the British, the index is more than the index. As our aristocratic friends say: “It’s a nice house, but slightly wrong postcode” . If translated literally, then “The house is good there, but the index is a little wrong.” But in fact, this upbringing and British restraint does not allow them to say what they really think: “If you buy a house in this area, we will not come to visit you in life.Even if you have a good house :)) “ Such snobs :))

There are a lot of Britons who will hang themselves and live in a tiny apartment and pay exorbitant prices, if only the index is” correct. “An example of a correct index is W11 (Kensington and Chelsea)

Photo by lilivanili

The first part of the index is in most cases written on the street name plate. which is most often a rod on the streets of London.Abbey Road in front of the famous recording studio.

You yourself understand, it’s a sin not to leave your message to the Universe (in the form of your name or a line from the Beatles song) 🙂

Photo by Sander Lamme

Another famous postal code of Great Britain is E17. It is famous, however, not for the street and not for the beautiful buildings, but for the four residents, members of the East 17 group (precisely in honor of the index – E17 in east London). East 17 is, of course, a mega-gopota. The band was at its peak in the mid-90s.It all ended in 1997 when vocalist Brian Harvey proudly admitted that he could eat 12 LSD in one night.

After that there were a couple of attempts to return to the stage, but rather unsuccessful. In 2005, Harvey distinguished himself by managing to run over himself, run over with his own car. Can you imagine? I went in my native E17. Suddenly he became unbearably sick (allegedly because of the eaten potato crumbs), opened the door to vomit, bent down and pressed the gas instead of the brake, fell out of the car and fell under the wheels.Then he miraculously survived, having spent several days in a coma. Here’s a stuntman from E17. This is just an example of a “wrong” index. Well, its inhabitants.

Now a few words about London indexes. The very center is EC (Eastern Central) and WC (Western Central). Around the central regions – indices with cardinal points and the number 1. For example, E1 = East 1 (that is, East 1), NW1 (North West 1 = North West 1). Further, the indexes are alphabetical, depending on the name of the area.

It turns out something like this.Inquiring minds will find a logical error on the map.

The most observant, of course, will notice that there is North on the map, but there is no South. There is North West, but there is no North East. The fact is that in 1917, during the First World War, the S and NE indices were abolished.

Now about the second half of the index, which comes after the space and consists of a number and 2 letters. If the first half is a district, then the second half refers to a specific house. Every house in Britain has its own unique code.Addresses with him are most often indicated. In Google maps, for example, you can only drive in an index (point B in this case is my office) to find out how to get to the library 🙂

The fact that the index is a status thing can be seen from the way it is distributed indexes of the main buildings of the center:
SW1A 0AA – House of Commons
SW1A 1AA – Buckingham Palace
SW1A 2AA – 10 Downing Street

Such are the traditions 🙂

Postal services | VisitBritain

There are two mailing classes in the UK: first and second.Postage stamps are sold in many stores, including supermarkets and gas stations. Second class is slightly cheaper. But your letter or postcard will take one or two days longer than if sent in first class. The total cost of sending a letter depends on its size and weight. For more information, please visit the Royal Mail website ( or take your letter or parcel post to the post office, they will prompt you there.

Generally, the post office is open from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday. And also until 12:30 on Saturday.

If you are mailing a letter to someone living in the UK, be sure to include the postal code. The fact is that in the same city there may be several streets (squares, alleys) with the same names. On the Royal Mail website, you can find the zip code for any address.

In remote areas of the country and in small towns, small post offices are located right in newspaper shops, grocery stores or information centers.In many villages, the post office is also the only store.

Mailboxes can be found in any town or village. Some of them are designed as free-standing low columns. Others are built into the wall of the house. However, all mailboxes are colored bright red.

Seizure of correspondence is carried out twice a day on weekdays (and somewhat less often on Saturdays and Sundays). Each box is marked with the time of the last collection of letters.

You can send a letter to any country in the world by Royal Mail airmail.The delivery price for such letters depends on the destination. Typically, they are delivered to an addressee in Europe in three days, and to addressees in other countries in four to six days. Royal Mail also offers Airsure express mail delivery service. You can use it in any department. The letter will be sent to the addressee with the next flight.

Parcelforce Worldwide offers courier delivery services. Its prices are comparable to those of DHL, Crossflight, Expressair and UPS.

Postcodes in the United Kingdom

Map of United Kingdom postcode zones and Crown dependencies with links to each postcode zone

Postcodes used in the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependent Territories are known as postcodes (originally postal codes). They are alphanumeric and were nationally adopted between October 11, 1959 and 1974, when they were developed by the General Post Office (Royal Mail).A complete postal code is known as a “postal code unit” and denotes an area with multiple addresses or one primary delivery point.

The structure of the postal code consists of two alphanumeric codes, which show, firstly, the postal city, and secondly, a small group of addresses in that postal city. The first alphanumeric code (outgoing code or outgoing code) is two to four characters long, and the second (internal code or incoming code) is always three characters long.Outcode indicates the zip code area and zip code area. It consists of one or two letters followed by one number, two numbers, or one number and one letter. It is followed by a space, followed by an Incode, which indicates the zip sector and delivery point (usually a group of about 15 addresses). The code always consists of 3 characters, starting with a number (denoting a sector in the area) and ending with two letters (denoting delivery points that are tied to streets, street sides or individual real estate objects).Zip code areas are usually, but not always, named after a major city or city – for example, B for Birmingham. Some are geographic in nature, such as HS for the Outer Hebrides and FY for Fylde (the region around Blackpool).

Each zip code area contains a number of postal cities that are not themselves alphabetical; however, each usually constitutes one or more postcode areas. Example: Much of southern England is covered by the GU, named after the city of Guildford.Guildford itself consists of the postal districts GU1 and GU2. Near Woking, a major suburban town 10 km from the hotel, is the post town in the postal district GU22. The central part of the city, after which the postal code is named, will have a number 1, for example, B1 (Birmingham), LS1 (Leeds), M1 (Manchester). However, in this case, other postal cities in the area are processed either alphabetically, especially in London, for example, Chingford on the northeastern suburb of London is designated E4, and neighboring Walthamstow in the south is designated E17, or geographically – for example, the HS numbering of the Outer Hebrides area areas from north to south.

As a rule, large postal cities are numbered from the center outward, so that distant parts have higher district numbers. However, disparate postal cities within a postal area can be numbered based on various criteria. The city after which the postal zone is named, except for, is always 1. In particular, the centrality of a postcode area within a postcode area cannot be reliably inferred from the postcode alone. For example, SE1 covers most of central London south of the Thames, while SE2 covers Abbey Wood at the far end of the Elizabeth Line.See Zip Code Area.

Postal codes have been adopted for a wide range of purposes in addition to helping sort mail: to calculate insurance premiums, determine destinations in route planning software, and as the lowest level of aggregation in a population census. The boundaries of each zip code unit and within them the complete address data are currently about 29 million addresses (delivery points) stored, maintained and periodically updated in the zip file database.

The original system of named postal districts, developed in London and other major cities since 1857, evolved to its present form: in 1917 London was divided into broadly numbered divisions, and in 1934 this expanded to other cities.

In theory, delivery can be reached by house number (or name if the house does not have a number) and only by postal code; however, this is contrary to Royal Mail’s rules, which require the use of a full address.


Formerly postal districts


The postal city of London occupies 40% of the territory of Greater London. Since its foundation (in 1857/8) it has been divided into ten postal districts: EC (East-Central), WC (West-Central), North, North-East, East, South-East, South-West, West and Northwest. Later, the southern and northeastern sectors were canceled. In 1917, as a wartime measure to improve efficiency, each postal district was divided into sub-districts, each designated by a number; the area served directly by the district head office received number 1; other numbers have been assigned alphabetically to delivery offices, such as N2 East Finchley delivery office, N3 Finchley delivery office, N4 Finsbury Park delivery office, etc.Since then, these areas have changed little.

Some old road signs in Hackney still show the northeast (NE) sector / area.

Other major cities and towns
Signs with street names on Birdbrook Road, Great Barr, Birmingham, with the old postal district “Birmingham 22” (above) and the modern postcode “B44”.

Following the successful introduction of postal districts in London, the system was extended to other major cities. Liverpool was divided into East, North, South and West counties in 1864/65, and Manchester and Salford into eight numbered counties in 1867/68.

In 1917 Dublin – then still part of the United Kingdom – was divided into numbered postal districts. They continue to be used in a modified form by the An Post of the Republic of Ireland. In 1923, Glasgow was divided in the same way as London, with numbered areas preceded by a compass point letter (C, W, NW, N, E, S, SW, SE).

In January 1932, the Postmaster General approved the division of some predominantly urban areas into numbered districts.In November 1934, the Post Office announced the introduction of numbered counties (short postal codes) in “every provincial town in the United Kingdom large enough to justify it.” Leaflets were issued to every homeowner and business in ten districts, indicating the district number in which they were located. The brochures included a map of the districts, copies of which were available from local post offices. The public was “especially invited” to include the county number in the address at the beginning of the letter.

An advertising campaign the following year encouraged the use of district numbers. Campaign slogan: “For speed and confidence, always use the postal district number on letters and paper.” Each post in the affected areas had a placard with the number of the area calling for community engagement. Each post office in a numbered area also had to display this information. Christmas card and stationery printers were asked to always include district numbers in addresses, and election agents for candidates in the upcoming general election were asked to make sure they correctly addressed the 100 million mailings they were to send.Companies were given a free booklet containing maps and lists of the correct district numbers for each street in ten districts.

The ten regions were:

For example, Toxteth was Liverpool 8 . The same numbering sequence was used by Manchester and Salford: the letters were addressed to Manchester 1 or Salford 7 (lower digits, respectively). Some codes for Birmingham were separated by letters, for example Great Barr, Birmingham 22 or Birmingham 22a , which can still be seen on many old street signs today.

Modern postcode system

The Post Office experimented with electromechanical sorting machines in the late 1950s. These devices presented an envelope to the operator, who pressed a button indicating which basket to sort the letter into. Zip codes have been proposed to improve the efficiency of this process by eliminating the need for the sorter to remember the correct sort for as many locations as possible.In January 1959, the post office analyzed the results of a survey of public attitudes towards the use of postal codes, choosing a city in which to experiment with the codes. The suggested format was a six-digit alphanumeric code with three letters representing a geographic area and three numbers representing an individual address. On July 28, Ernest Marples, postmaster general, announced that Norwich had been selected and that by October each of the 150,000 private and business addresses would receive a code.Norwich was chosen because it already had eight sorting machines. The original Norwich format consisted of “NOR” followed by a space, then a two-digit number (which, unlike the current format, could include a leading zero), and finally one letter (instead of the last two letters in the current format).

In October 1965, Tony Benn, as postmaster general, announced that postal coding would be extended to the rest of the country in the next few years.

Postcodes were introduced at Croydon on 1 May 1967. Many zip codes in central Croydon started with “CRO”, and zip codes for surrounding cities began with CR2, CR3, and CR4. A uniform dialing system was adopted with the last three characters after the space (for example, 0AA, known as internal code). This was to be the start of a 10-year plan, which is estimated at £ 24 million. Within two years, the full coding was expected to be used in Aberdeen, Belfast, Brighton, Bristol, Bromley, Cardiff, Coventry, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newport, Reading, Sheffield, Southampton and West London.By 1967, codes were being introduced in Aberdeen, Southampton, Brighton and Derby. In 1970, codes were introduced for the West and Northwest Postal Districts of London. In December 1970, most of the Christmas mail was postmarked “Remember to use the zip code,” although codes were used to sort mail in only a few sorting centers.

During 1971, address owners began to receive notifications of their zip codes. When asked in the House of Commons about the completion of the coding work, the Minister of State for Posts and Telecommunications (whose role replaced the post of Postmaster General in 1969), Sir John Eden, said that its completion was expected in 1972.The circuit was completed in 1974 when Norwich was completely recoded, but the circuit tested at Croydon was close enough to the final design to be retained, with the CRO standardized as CR0 (zero district), eliminating the need for a district CR1.

A quirk remained: the central Newport (Gwent) area was allocated to NPT at the same time that Croydon became CRO, and the surrounding areas (as they are today) were allocated NP1 – NP8. The NPT lasted until the end of 1984 when it was recoded as NP9.

Girobank’s BMP 0AA was the last internal zip code with a fully alphabetic external code. This code no longer exists in the PAF Royal Mail system, but has been passed on to the bank’s current owners, Santander UK.

Adaptation of earlier systems to the national system

When the national postal code system was introduced, many of the existing postal districts were incorporated, so that postal codes in Toxteth (Liverpool 8) start with L8. The districts in both Manchester and Salford received M postcodes, so Salford 7 became M7 and so on (and similarly in Brighton and Hove, both use the BN prefix).The old coding is preserved in a small number of street signs with (for example) “Salford 7” at the bottom. In other cases, district numbers were replaced by unrelated numbers. In Glasgow, many of its G numbers are not used because C1 became G1, W1 became G11, N1 became G21, E1 became G31, S1 became G41, SW1 became G51, and so on. In London (by postal definition) the postal districts created in 1917 are displayed unchanged from the present ones, but its significantly enlarged administrative area, Greater London, was created in April 1965.As of this month, the remaining 60% of Greater London’s area has zip codes that refer to 13 other postal cities. In addition, there were too few zip codes to adequately cover the areas in central London (especially the WC and EC areas), so they were split with a letter suffix rather than new numbered areas to maintain familiar codes.

GB zip codes available as OpenData

Prior to April 1, 2010, Royal Mail licensed the use of a postcode database for a fee of approximately £ 4,000 per year.After campaigning and consulting with the government in 2009, the Ordnance Survey released a Code-Point Open detailing each current UK postal code along with a geographic code for free reuse under an Open Government License as part of the OpenData OS.

Postal codes linked to different geographic regions in the UK

The Office for National Statistics (ONS Geography) maintains and publishes a series of freely available downloadable product zip codes that link all current and completed UK postal codes to a range of administrative, medical, statistical and other regions using the Code-Point Open Grid link.



Postcodes are alphanumeric and variable in length from six to eight characters (including space). Each zip code is divided into two parts separated by one space: outer code and inner code respectively. External code includes zip area and zip area respectively. Internally, the code includes the zip sector and block zip code respectively.Examples of postal codes are “SW1W 0NY”, “PO16 7GZ”, “GU16 7HF”, and “L1 8JQ”.

External code Internal code
Area District Sector units rev
SW 1 W 0 New York

External code

The outer code is the part of the postal code before the single space in the middle.Its length is between two and four characters. Examples of outgoing codes: “L1”, “W1A”, “Rh2”, “Rh20” or “SE1P”. Some outgoing codes are not geographic and do not disclose where mail should be sent.


The postal code area is part of the external code. The zip code area consists of one or two characters in alphabetical order. Examples of postal codes are “L” for Liverpool, “RH” for Redhill, and “EH” for Edinburgh. Postal area can cover a large area, for example, “RH” also covers parts of North Sussex, and “BT” (Belfast) covers all of Northern Ireland.

Zip code area

District postal code one digit, two digits or numbers followed by a letter.

Internal code

Internal code is the part of the postal code after a single space in the middle. These are three symbols. The internal code helps with the delivery of mail within the postal district. Examples of internal codes: “0NY”, “7GZ”, “7HF” or “8JQ”.

Zip Code Sector

The postcode sector consists of one digit (the first character of the internal code).


The postcode unit is the two characters appended to the end of the postcode sector. A zip code unit usually represents a street, a sub-street, a separate address, a group of properties, a separate property, a portion of a property, a separate organization, or (for example, a driving and car licensing agency) a sub-organization. The level of discrimination often depends on the amount of mail received by the office or office.


The format is as follows, where A stands for a letter and 9 stands for a number:

Format Coating Example
AA9A 9AA Toilet Zip Area; EC1 – EC4, NW1W, SE1P, SW1 EC1A 1BB
A9A 9AA E1, N1, W1 W1A 0AX
A9 9AA B, E, G, L, M, N, S, W M1 1AE
A99 9AA B33 8TH
AA9 9AA All other postal codes CR2 6XH
AA99 9AA DN55 1PT


  • Since all formats end in 9AA, the first part of the zip code can be easily extracted by ignoring the last three characters.
  • Districts with single-digit districts: BR, FY, HA, HD, HG, HR, HS, HX, JE, LD, SM, SR, WC, WN, ZE (although WC is always subdivided into an additional letter, e.g. WC1A)
  • Districts with only double-digit counties: AB, LL, SO
  • Areas with county zero (zero): BL, BS, CM, CR, FY, HA, PR, SL, SS (BS is the only region that has both county 0 and county 10).
  • The following single-digit districts in central London have been further separated by inserting a letter after the number and before a space: EC1 – EC4 (but not EC50), SW1, W1, WC1, WC2 and parts E1 (E1W), N1 (N1C and N1P), NW1 (NW1W) and SE1 (SE1P).
  • The letters Q , V and X are not used in the first position.
  • Letters I , J and Z are not used in the second position.
  • Only the letters A , B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, P, S, T, U and W, appear in the third position when the structure starts with A9A.
  • Only the letters A, B, E, H, M, N, P, R, V, W, X and Y, appear in the fourth position when the structure starts with AA9A.
  • The last two letters do not use C, I, K, M, O or V , so as not to resemble numbers or each other when written by hand.
  • The zip sectors are one of ten digits: 0 through 9, with 0 only used after 9 has been used in the postal city, with the exception of Croydon and Newport (see above).

Postcode can be checked against the table of all 1.7 million postcodes in the Code-Point Open. The complete shipping address, including zip code, can be verified using the Royal Mail’s Postal Code Address File (PAF), which lists 29 million valid shipping addresses, constituting most (but not all) addresses in the UK.(([AZ] {1,2} [0-9] [A-Z0-9]? | ASCN | STHL | TDCU | BBND | [BFS] IQQ | PCRN | TKCA)? [0-9] [AZ] {2} | BFPO? [0-9] {1,4} | (KY [0-9] | MSR | VG | AI) [-]? [0-9] {4} | [AZ] {2} ? [0-9] {2} | GE? CX | GIR? 0A {2} | SAN? TA1) $

Postal cities

All or part of one or more postcode districts are grouped into postal cities. Major postal cities may use more than one zip code area, for example Crowley uses Rh20 and Rh21. In a minority of cases, one number could cover two postal cities – for example, WN8 includes the postal cities of Wigan and Skelmersdale.

Special cases

Crown Dependencies

The Channel Islands and Isle of Man established their own postal administrations to secede from the UK in 1969. Despite this, they adopted UK postal codes in 1993-94: Guernsey using GY, Isle of Man using IM, and Jersey using JE.

Sark Independent Jurisdiction was assigned a unique postal code GY10 in 2011 to distinguish it from Alderney. Guernsey Post CEO, Bowley Smillie, said “it was a long time ago” and “… Sark had to have his own personality back then [when zip codes were adopted in 1993]. ”

British Overseas Territories

The postcodes of some British Overseas Territories follow the format of the UK postal code system:

They were introduced because mail was often sent to the wrong destination, such as Ascension Island in Asuncion, Paraguay, and many online businesses did not accept addresses without a zip code. Mail from the UK is still considered international and not domestic, so sufficient postage must be used.

Bermuda, the most populous of the remaining UK Overseas Territories, has developed its own zip code system with unique zip codes for street addresses and letterboxes, as do the Cayman Islands, Montserrat and the British Virgin Islands. Montserrat has recently introduced postal codes and the system is pending in Gibraltar with the GX11 1AA code being introduced as the general postal code for the area.

The British Sovereign Base Territories of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in Cyprus use Cypriot postal codes for civilian use.The British military uses BFPO addresses.

The individual postcode systems for these territories are shown below:

British Post Office (BFPO)

British Forces Post Office (BFPO) provides an HM force postal service separate from that provided by Royal Mail in the United Kingdom, with the BFPO address used for mail delivery in the UK and worldwide. BFPO codes such as “BFPO 801” serve the same function as postal codes for civil addresses, with the last address line consisting of “BFPO” followed by a space and a 1 to 4 digit number.

For consistency with other UK address formats, in 2012 BFPO and Royal Mail jointly introduced an additional alternative postcode format for BFPO addresses using the new non-geographic postcode area “BF” and the notional postal city “BFPO”. Each BFPO number is assigned a postal code in standard UK format, starting with “BF1”. The database was released commercially in March 2012 as part of the Royal Mail Mailing File (PAF).A postal code is not required if the traditional BFPO nnnn format is used.

Non-geographic codes

Most zip codes apply to a geographic area, but some are used for routing purposes only and cannot be used for navigation or distance estimation. They are often used for direct marketing and mailboxes. The non-geographic area of ​​the BX postal code is used exclusively for non-geographic addresses with codes independent of the recipient’s location.Certain sectors or areas of zip codes are exclusively for non-geographic zip codes, including EC50, BS98, BT58, BX1 – BX9, IM99, M60, N1P, NE99, SA99, SW9, WV99, WV98, and JE4. Also, the first two numbers can be from 91 to 95 for businesses and from 96 to 99 for government departments. The HQs for the last two letters may also be the most likely non-graphical zip code that Royal Mail contains mail that can be redirected, bulk mail delivered, or opened and scanned to an email service.The Girobank headquarters in Bootle used the non-geographic postcode GIR 0AA. There is also a special postcode for letters to Santa Claus / Santa Claus, XM4 5HQ.

Many non-geographic zip codes do not appear in Royal Mail’s own online zip code finder or in their online Click and Drop mailing tool, which can create confusion when responding to organizations using such addresses. Likewise, delivery services or couriers other than Royal Mail may not be able to deliver to such non-physical addresses.

Special postcodes

Zip Codes are assigned by the Royal Mail Address Management Department and cannot be purchased or specified by the recipient. However, Royal Mail sometimes assigns semi-mnemonic zip codes to high-profile organizations.

Striking examples:

Postal Code Organization
B1 1HQ HSBC UK h Lead Q uarters at 1 Centenary Square, Birmingham
BS98 1 TL T V L icensing
BX1 1 LT Lloyds Bank, formerly known as L loyds T SB Bank, is a non-geographic address.
BX2 1 LB Bank of Scotland (part of L loyds B anking Group) is a non-geographic address.
BX3 2 BB B arclays B apk-non-geographic address
BX4 7SB TSB Bank
BX5 5AT Central Office VAT Revenue and Customs of Great Britain (Roman numeral “ V AT” = “ 5 AT”) – non-geographic address.
CF10 1 BH Lloyds Banking Group (previously B is missing H orse Finance)
CF99 1 NA Senedd (formerly N NATIONAL A ssembly in Wales)
CO4 3SQ University of Essex ( Sq uare 3 )
CV4 8 UW Y niversity of W arwick
CV35 0 DB Aston Martin honoring their long line of iconic sports cars bearing the moniker DB.
DA 1 1 RT Dartford (nicknamed The Dart s)
D E99 3GG Egg Banking
DE55 4 SW S limming W ORLD
DH98 1 BT B ritish T elecom
DH99 1 NS N ATSIONAL S Avings Administration Certificates
E14 5 HQ HSBC h Lead Q uarters at 8 Canada Square, Canary Wharf
E14 5 JP JP Morgan
E16 1 XL ExCeL London
E20 2 AQ Olympic Aq uatics Center
E20 2 BB Olympic B Ascetic B All Arena
E20 2 ST Olympic St Adium
E20 3 BS Olympic B Roadca s t Center
E20 3 EL Olympic V El odrome
E20 3 ET Olympic tennis courts Et on Manor
E20 3 HB Olympic H and b all Arena (now Copper Box)
E20 3 HY Olympic H ocke at stadium
E98 1 SN S U n newspaper
E98 1 ST S unday T IMES Newspapers
E98 1 TT T He T Ames Newspaper
EC2N 2 DB D eutsche B apk
EC4Y 0 HQ Royal Mail Group Ltd h EAD Q uarters
Eh22 1 HQ Royal Bank of Scotland h EAD d uarters
EH 99 1 SP S cottish P arliament (founded at 19 99 )
G 58 1 SB National S avings B apk (district number 58 also approximates the scheme with the initials SB )
GIR 0 AA Giro bank (now Santander Corporate Banking)
IV21 2LR Two L Ochs R Adio
L30 4 GB G iro b ank (alternative geographic zip code)
LS98 1 FD F straight D Straight bank
M50 2 BH Bi – B Comb N Ouse
M50 2 QH BBC Q uay N Ouse
N1 9 GU Gu Ardian newspaper
N81 1 ER E lectoral R eform Services
NE1 4 ST Sept – James Park Sept Adium, Newcastle
NG80 1 EH Experiane E mbankment N Ouse
NG80 1 LH Experian L Ambert H Uz
NG80 1 RH Experian R iverleen N Ouse
NG80 1 TH Experian T Albot N Ouse
Ph2 5 RB R oyal B Apk Scotland Head Office Perth
Ph2 2 SJ S T J Ohnstone Football Club
S2 4 SU S heffield U nited football club
S6 1 SW S heffield W ednesday football club
S 14 7UP World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theater, Sheffield; 147 UP means maximum advantage (from maximum break) in snooker.
SA99 Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency – All zip codes starting with SA99 are for DVLA offices in the Morriston area of ​​Swansea, the last part of the zip code refers to a specific office or department within the DVLA.
SE1 0NE One America Street, London headquarters of architecture firm TP Bennett
SE1 8 UJ U Nion J Ack Club
SM6 0 HB H ome b ase Limited
SN38 1 NW N tion sh as a building society
SR5 1 SU Light Stadium, Su nderland AFC
SW1A 0AA House of Commons ( R Alace of W estminster; see below House of Lords)
SW1A 0 PW House of Lords ( R Alace of W estminster; see above Commons)
SW1A 1AA Buckingham Palace (monarch)
SW1A 2AA Downing Street 10 (Prime Minister)
SW1A 2AB 11 Downing Street (Treasury Secretary)
SW1H 0 TL T ransport for L ondon (Windsor House, 50 Victoria Street)
SW1P 3 EC European Commission and European Parliament office ( E uropean U nyon)
SW1W 0 DT D Aily T elegraph newspaper
SW11 7 USA US Embassy, ​​London
SW19 5 AE All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (host of the Wimbledon Championships)
TW8 9 GS G laxo S mithKline
W1A 1 AA BBC Broadcasting House
W1D 4 FA Betgenius, former address F ootball ssociation
W1N 4 DJ BBC Radio 1 ( d isc j ockey)
W1T 1 FB F ac b OOK

Zip codes printed on business reply envelopes (which do not require a stamp) often end with the letters BR .



Zip codes are used to sort letters to their destination, either manually when sorters use bulleted frames, or increasingly with letter coding systems where machines help sort. The automatic sorting option uses optical character recognition (OCR) to read printed zip codes, which is best for mail that uses a standard layout and addressing format.

Long chain of “front” letters (i.e.E. Reversed so that the address can be read) is presented to the keyboard operator at the coding stand, who types the zip codes on the envelopes with colored phosphor dots. The linked machine uses the outgoing codes specified at these points to route the bundles of letters to the correct packages for specific delivery locations. Thanks to machine knowledge of the specific addresses processed by each mailing in each office, the bundles can be further sorted using internal sorting code points, so that each round of delivery only receives its own letters.This feature depends on the cost-effectiveness of secondary sorting of outgoing emails and is generally only used in major sorting offices where high volumes are handled.

If postal codes are incomplete or missing, the operator reads the name of the postal city and inserts a code sufficient for external sorting into the postal city where others can forward it. Postage packets with bundles of letters are sent by road, air or rail and ultimately by road to the point of delivery.In the delivery department, mail, which is handled manually, is sorted internally for the mailings that will deliver it; it is then “set”, that is, sorted in bypass order, which allows the delivery man to move more conveniently in the round. The latter process is currently being automated as the deployment of walking sequencer machines continues.

Embedded Post Processors

Integrated Postal Processors (IMPs) read the postcode on the item and convert it into two phosphorus barcodes representing the inside and outside of the postcode, which machines then print and read to sort the mail into the correct outgoing postcode.Letters can also be sorted sequentially using a Compact Sequence Sorter (CSS) that reads the outgoing zip code in the order that the walking postman / woman will deliver them door-to-door. On such products, the upper phosphor barcode is the inside of the code, the lower one is the outside.


IMPs can also read the RM4SCC elements used by Cleanmail in a format other than the one specified above.

Mailsort and Walksort

A newer five-digit code system called Mailsort was developed for users who send “a minimum of 4,000 letter-sized items.”It encodes the outside of the zip code in a way that is useful for routing mail, so that a specific range of Mailsort codes will end up on a specific plane or truck. Mailsort users are provided with a database that allows them to convert postal codes to Mailsort codes and receive a discount if they deliver mail to a post office split by Mailsort code. Users who send outbound mail sorted by zip code do not receive this incentive because zip regions and districts are assigned using constant mnemonics and therefore do not help to group items into operatively significant blocks.Walksort was discontinued in May 2012.

Announcements and Availability

There are approximately 1.7 million postcodes in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Each postal code is separated by a space into two parts. As mentioned above, the first part starts with the zip area and ends with the zip area. The second part starts with a single digit, which indicates the zip sector , and ends with the zip code unit.

Postcode areas are also divided into several postal cities that predate the introduction of postcodes, with the postal city of London uniquely spanning more than one postcode area.

As of June 2016, there were 124 postcode districts, 2,987 postcode districts, 11,192 postcode sectors, and 1,500 postal cities. Each of the addresses receiving large volumes of mail is assigned separate zip codes for large users.But most zip codes are used by multiple neighbors, typically covering about 15 addresses.

Life Cycle of Postal Codes

There are also a significant number of canceled (discontinued) codes. About 2,750 postcodes are created every month and 2,500 are closed.

91 737 876 312
Component Part Example Live codes Completed codes Other codes General
Postal code Exit Code HEY 124 0 3 127
Zip code area Exit Code YO31 2 984 103 4 3087
Postal Code Sector At code YO31 1 11 197 1.071 4 12 272
Postal code At code YO31 1EB 1,767,416 4 2 643 732
Postcodes Approx.29,965,962

Postal Address File (PAF)

Royal Mail Address Management maintains the official UK postal and postal code database in its Postcode File (PAF), which is licensed for a fee regulated by Ofcom. PAF is commercially licensed and is often included in address management software packages. The capabilities of such packages allow you to create most addresses based solely on the zip code and house number.By incorporating zip code maps into an address database, the zip code can be used to pinpoint the area of ​​zip codes on the map. PAF is updated daily.

On its website, Royal Mail publishes a summary of major developments in the postcode sectors and postal localities (including postal cities). Individual postcodes or postal addresses can be found using the Royal Mail Postcode website and Address Finder, but this is limited to 50 free searches per user per day.

Code point open

A complete listing of all current UK postal codes, known as the Code-Point Open, has been made available online (from 1 April 2010) by the Ordnance Survey. As part of the government initiative OS OpenData, it is available for reuse free of charge under a license with attribution only. The Code-Point Open list includes median coordinates for each zip code, but excludes postal codes in Northern Ireland and Crown dependencies.Unlike the PAF products provided by Royal Mail, the Code-Point Open List does not include postal address text.

ONS Postal Code Directory and National Statistics Postal Code Search

Office for National Statistics also produces zip catalogs, under similar operating conditions for the OS product license. Both ONSPD and NSPL contain Northern Ireland zip codes with centroid coordinates in the OSI grid rather than the OSGB grid, although Northern Ireland zip codes are subject to a more restrictive license for internal commercial use only.Zip codes for crown dependencies are also included without coordinates. Another difference is that long-term zip codes and the dates of introduction and cancellation of zip codes are included.

Other use

Although zip codes were introduced to speed up mail delivery, they are useful tools for other purposes, especially because the codes are very detailed and only identify a few addresses. Among these applications:

  • Using satellite navigation systems to navigate to address by street number and postcode
  • By life insurance companies and pension funds to estimate life expectancy for pricing and provisioning
  • Other types of insurance companies for assessing insurance premiums for automotive / business / domestic policy
  • Determine the coverage of school locations or doctors’ offices.
  • Search for the nearest branch of the organization at a given address. The computer program uses the zip codes of the target address and branches to list the nearest branches in order of straight-line distance (or, if used in conjunction with street-map software, by road distance). This can be used by companies to inform potential clients where to go, job search centers for job seekers, to alert people to urban planning applications in their area, and many other applications.

The phrase “zip code lottery” refers to differences in service availability across regions, although not always because of zip codes.

For these and other reasons, postal codes in some areas have become indicators of social status. Some residents have campaigned to change their zip code to associate themselves with a more attractive area, dissociate themselves from a poorer area, lower insurance premiums, or associate with an area with a lower cost of living.In all of these cases, Royal Mail said there was “little hope” for a zip code change, citing its policy of changing zip codes only to match changes in their operations.

Postcodes rarely coincide with local government borders, and some of them cross the English borders with Wales and Scotland. This resulted in British Sky Broadcasting subscribers receiving the wrong BBC and ITV regions and giving newly licensed amateurs the wrong callsigns.

See also


How to write an address in English

Different countries have their own rules for writing an address. English also has its own characteristics. Let’s find out what exactly they are.

Address in English

When writing an address, you must adhere to certain rules of registration. This is necessary so that the address is understandable to the postal workers, and the letter reaches the addressee safely. It is customary to place the sender’s address at the top left of the envelope, and the recipient’s address is usually located in the lower right corner.

Write in legible block letters. At the same time, do not forget that for convenience, the postal address to which the letter is sent should be written larger than your own.

US and UK addresses are usually structured according to the following rules:

  • Name of the person to whom the letter is intended
  • Organization (if the letter is for business communication)
  • House number, street name, apartment number
  • City name (and state for USA)
  • Postcode
  • Country name

When writing a business letter, the appropriate form of address is placed before the name:

  • Mr.- any man
  • Mrs. – married woman
  • Miss – unmarried woman
  • Ms. – in the absence of information about the marital status of a woman

For example: Mr. Richard Johnson (possibly Mr. R. Johnson)

If you do not know the name of the recipient, you can limit yourself to the name of the organization.

To learn how to compose a business letter and how to write a personal letter in English, read on the pages of our website.

How to write an English address for the UK

In British English, there is no period after Mr, Mrs, Ms and initials.

As required by the Royal Mail, the city is capitalized.

So an example of a UK postal address would look like this:

Miss S Pollard
2 Chapel Hill
Bh2 1AA

Address in English for shipping to the USA

The name of the state is written with a two-letter abbreviation (for example, NY – New York, CA – California).A complete list of abbreviations can be found on the official website of the United States Postal Service –

In addition, in the case of business letters, the address is recommended to be written in full capital letters:

CA 94528

If you include an address in the body of the letter, use punctuation. For example:

Please send mail to Mr. James Kerry, 438 Dark Spurt, San Francisco, CA 94528, USA.

Especially for Aliexpress visitors: Russian address in English spelling

And finally – valuable information for lovers of goods from the wonderful site, namely, how the Russian address is written in English letters. Since the return address in our case is intended for Russian mail, it is better to write it down so that it is understandable to Russian postmen.

All names are transliterated in this case (more about transliteration rules). For example:

Smirnov A. N.
ul. Kosmonavtov 35-11
Leningradskaya oblast

Before sending the letter, be sure to check the spelling of all elements, first of all – the postal code.

Read on:

How to write dates correctly in English

15 useful rules for writing numbers in English

how to write a mailing address in English

Postal correspondence and exchange of paper correspondence is not only a romantic tradition of the past centuries. Even today, in the age of the Internet and technology, electronic messages do not supplant traditional mail, especially courier delivery. If we want to send a parcel to relatives, order something in an online store or indicate our home address when filling out documents – we need to know the rules for processing postal addresses.This is necessary so that your letter does not get lost on the way to the addressee and does not leave for another city or state. Each country has its own peculiarities of registration of a postal address. Today we will figure out how to correctly arrange an address in the UK, America and Russia. In this article, you will learn how to correctly write a mailing address in English, how to formalize the address of the recipient and the sender, what is the difference between American and British addresses, and how to correctly specify a Russian address in English.

General rules for writing a postal address

The first rule for filling out the postal address in a letter ( letter ) is legible handwriting.If the exact address, city name or zip code is not clearly written, there is a great chance that your letter will not be delivered on time and may not reach the addressee at all. If possible, print the address after typing it on your computer. If you are filling out the address on an envelope by hand, write it legibly. On a postal envelope ( envelope ), as a rule, there are two addresses: the sender and the recipient. The sender’s address is written in the upper left corner, and the recipient’s address is in the lower right corner.Both of these addresses consist of basic information, which can be called a kind of skeleton for any mailing address: – Addressee – The name of the organization, if it is a business letter (company’s name) – Street, building, apartment / flat – City / town and state (for the USA) – Postal code (postal / zip code) – Country When writing a business letter, the appropriate contact form is placed in front of the name: Mr. – any man Mrs. – a married woman Miss – unmarried woman Ms.- in the absence of information about the woman’s marital status For more information on how to write a business letter, read the article “Official letter in English”. Correctly spelling a mailing address in English is not as difficult a task as it might seem at first glance. You just need to know the features of the postal service and the registration of the address in English of the country to which you are going to send the letter.

UK English address

The Royal Mail recommends that the city name be written in capital letters.Dots after the address (Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms) and initials are not put. The house number is written before the beginning of the street name. Example of a UK mailing address: Mr T Hakney 5 Road Hill MILFORD SO41 1AA UK

Address in English in America

The postal address in America has one peculiarity – the name of the state, which must be indicated next to the postal code of the recipient and the sender. Each state has its own unique two-letter designation. The most popular acronym known all over the world is, of course, NY – New York.Common abbreviated state postal names: CA (California), TX (Texas), WA (Washington), and others. Look for a complete list at the end of the article. The US Postal Service (USPS) recommends that all address details for both sender and recipient be capitalized. JOHN LOCK 455 DARK SPURT CALIFORNIA SPRINGS CA 92928 USA

Russian postal address in English

Providing your address in Russia in English may be required in many cases. But the most common option is, of course, ordering from a foreign online store.The Russian postal address is indicated by analogy with the American one. The most important thing is not to translate the street names into English, but simply to transliterate them. So, Prospekt Pobedy street, for example, should not turn into Victory Avenue, but remain Prospekt Pobedy. So the Russian Post will not get confused in the address. The house and apartment number can be specified in several ways. For brevity, you can specify the street name, house number and apartment number, separated by a hyphen. Ul. Koroleva 49-167 (house 49, apartment 167 on Koroleva street).Such an address will be more understandable for the Russian postal service. The second way to write the address is to specify the street as St. (street) and apartment number as apt. (apartment), and indicate the house number without signs and in front of the street name. 49 Koroleva St, apt. 167 (house 49, apartment 167 on Korolev street). This option can be specified if you are the sender of the letter. An example of indicating a Russian postal address in English: Sobolev A. V. Ul. Petrushina 34-19 Yekaterinburg Sverdlovskaya oblast 142263 RUSSIA Advice: if you are sending a letter to another country and you need to indicate the correct mailing address in English – request this information from the recipient, if possible.This will greatly facilitate the task and you will not worry about whether the letter will reach the addressee.

The most famous address in London is

Perhaps the most famous London address around the world is 221b Baker Street, where Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson lived in the writings of Arthur Conan Doyle. It is interesting that when the writer “settled” the brilliant detective and his companion at this address, in reality this house on Baker Street did not exist. At the end of the 19th century, the street was extended and houses from 215 to 229 appeared.The construction company was Abbey National and they faced a problem: now a significant amount of correspondence addressed to Sherlock Holmes was received at a well-known address. A little later, on Baker Street, it was decided to found a museum named after Sherlock Holmes, but the real number of the house in which it is located is 239. To keep the address for the museum from the writer’s works, the company “221b Baker Street” was founded and a corresponding plaque appeared on the 239 house … Subsequently, the museum managed to get an official change of address from the postal service and the city authorities.The Sherlock Holmes Museum in London can now be found at 221b, Baker Street, London, NW1 6XE. So be sure to check it out if you find yourself in London.

Mail vocabulary

  • Post office – post office, mail
  • Main / head post office – main post office
  • Mailbox – Mailbox
  • Letter – letter
  • Postcard – postcard
  • Postage – postage
  • Package – parcel
  • Parcel – parcel
  • Delivery – delivery
  • First class mail – first class mail
  • Express mail – urgent letter
  • Air mail – air mail
  • Sea mail
  • Receipt – receipt, check
  • Notice
  • Stamp / postage stamp – postage stamp
  • Envelope –
  • envelope
  • Address – address
  • Zip code / Postal code – Postal code
  • Return address – return address
  • Postman – Postman
  • Courier – Courier
  • To send – send
  • To send back – send back
  • To receive – to receive

Postal State Abbreviations in America:

Alabama (Alabama) – AL Alaska (Alaska) – AK Arizona (AZ) – AZ Arkansas (Arkansas) – AR California (California) – CA Colorado (Colorado) – CO Connecticut (Connecticut) – CT Delaware (Delaware) – DE Florida (Florida) – FL Georgia (Georgia) – GA Hawaii (Hawaii) – HI Idaho (Idaho) – ID Illinois (Illinois) – IL Indiana (Indiana) – IN Iowa (Iowa) – IA Kansas (Kansas) – KS Kentucky (Kentucky) – KY Louisiana (Louisiana) – LA Maine (Maine) – ME Maryland (Maryland) – MD Massachusetts (Massachusetts) – MA Michigan (Michigan) – MI Minnesota (Minnesota) – MN Mississippi (Mississippi) – MS Missouri (Missouri) – MO Montana (Montana) – MT Nebraska (Nebraska) – NE Nevada (Nevada) – NV New Hampshire (New Hampshire) – NH New Jersey (New Jersey) – NJ New Mexico (New Mexico) – NM New York (New York) – NY North Carolina (North Carolina) – NC North Dakota (North Dakota) – ND Ohio (Ohio) – OH Oklahoma (Oklahoma) – OK Oregon (OR) – OR Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania) – PA Rhode Island (Rhode Island) – RI South Carolina (South Carolina) – SC South Dakota (South Dakota) – SD Tennessee (Tennessee) – TN Texas (Texas) – TX Utah (Utah) – UT Vermont (Vermont) – VT Virginia (Virginia) – VA Washington (Washington) – WA West Virginia (West Virginia) – WV Wisconsin (Wisconsin) – WI Wyoming (Wyoming) – WY .

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