Postcodes in United Kingdom

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Postcode system in Great Britain

The ZIP code used currently in Great Britain was established in 1959 and was first used in GB and only then entered the Northern Ireland. London is an exception, because here, the ZIP code existed already in 1856 for the districts. This was revised in 1917 and remained valid until today.

The GB postcode

In Britain and Northern Ireland postcodes are made according to the place name, such as:


The first letter or the first two letters represent the name of the region. This combination is usually formed from an abbreviation of the main city of the region, such as NG for Nottingham City. Other commonly used abbreviations are:

  • BN (Brighton)
  • BT (Northern Ireland)
  • CB (Cambridge)
  • CF (Cardiff)
  • E (east of London)
  • EC (east and central London)
  • EH (Edinburgh)
  • G (Glasgow)
  • IV (Inverness)
  • L (Liverpool)
  • M (Manchester)
  • N (North London)
  • NE (Newcastle)
  • NG (Nottingham)
  • NN (Northampton)
  • NP (Newport)
  • NO (a North Witch)
  • NW (North West London)
  • OX (Oxford)
  • SE (South East London)
  • SW (South West London)
  • W (West London)
  • WC (West Central London)
  • WR (Worcester)
  • YO (York) and ZE (Shetland)

Each of the overseas Territories have four letters at the beginning of the postcode, such as FIQQ (Falkland Islands), SIQQ (South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands), Sihl (Helena) and TKCA (Turks and Caicos Islands).
The regions are divided into sub-regions, which have a one or two digit postal code. This paragraph follows directly and without any spaces in the country's postal code, for example, AL2. The combinations of the second part of the delivery postal code identifies neighborhoods and streets. For example, the ZIP code of York in Yorkshire is YO1 7JF.
In London, with the new system, there was an exception: a letter was added between the first part of the postcode and the second one because of the size of districts in the first part of postcode like 1AA EC1A.
Some offices and important homes of GB have their own ZIP code, such as: SW1A 1AA of Palace Share Buckingham, SW1A 0AA for the post of the House of Commons, SW1A 0PW the House of Lords Palace of Westminster or SW1A 2AA at the Prime Minister in Downing Street 10.

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