What is the ZIP Code of London

What is the ZIP Code of London

What is the ZIP Code of London?

The Royal Mail does not use zip codes. They have a much more sophisticated system called Post Codes.

The code is a mixture of letters and numbers where the first one or two characters are letters and indicate the “post town” followed by one or two numbers indicating a subdivision of that post town delivery area (and in more rural areas that subdivision can be quite a long way from the post town).

Then you get a space and a number and two more letters. That section after space can be used to identify a group of houses (rarely more than 30) or even a department in a company.

It’s quite possible to address something using no more than the house number and postcode (I’ve tried it!).

The UK does not have “Zip codes”. It has “Postcodes”. These operate at a very local level, each postcode covering typically a few dozen private addresses or a handful of commercial ones.

The postcode is in three segments, the first being alphabetic signifying a town city or London area, the second a numeric sub-area, and the third segment a discrete alphanumeric local area signifier for the most granular level.

So, for example, completely at random,

E17 8EG refers to East London sub-area 17 local signifier 8EG for odd-numbered houses in Harris street.

NW1 3SX refers to North West London sub-area 1 local signifier for a number of Flats in Richmond House Park Village East.

You can search addresses and related postcodes in the Royal Mail Postcode Finder on the internet.

A postcode used in a SatNav typically takes you within 50 yards of your intended destination in urban areas.

What is the ZIP Code of London?

The London postal district is the area in England of 241 square miles (620 km2) to which mail addressed to the London post town is delivered.

The General Post Office under the control of the Postmaster-General directed Sir Rowland Hill to devise the area in 1856 and throughout its history, it has been subject to reorganization and division into increasingly smaller postal units, with the early loss of two compass points and a minor retraction in 1866.

It was integrated by the Post Office into the national postcode system of the United Kingdom during the early 1970s and corresponds to the N, NW, SW, SE, W, WC, E, and EC postcode areas.

The postal district has also been known as the London postal area. The County of London was much smaller, at 117 square miles (300 km2), but Greater London is much larger at 607 square miles (1,570 km2). Zipcodes are an American postal system. The UK uses postcodes. A postcode typically refers to about 15 properties.

London has many postcodes but they typically fall into E (East), EC (East Central), W (West), WC (West Central), N (North), NW (North West), SE (South East), SW (South West). In addition to these postcodes, Greater London contains other postcodes that were originally part of the home counties prior to the expansion of London.

Friends, the postcodes for Downing Street is SW1A 2AA. The postcode for Buckingham Palace is SW1A 1AA. The postcode for the Tower of London is EC3N 4AB.

What is the ZIP Code of London
What is the ZIP Code of London

No such thing as a London wide code.

London has the following postal regions which are further divided into local postcodes.

  1. S – South
  2. Ñ – North
  3. E – East
  4. W – West
  • WC – West Central for inner London.
  • EC – East Central for inner London but pretty much the old City of London
  • NW – Northwest London
  • SW – South West includes some inner west London but mainly south west London
  • SE – South East.

In addition, due to the massive area of Greater London, some of it is covered by postcodes for areas that were always outside the London postal districts so, EN, UB, RM, and a few others I’ve forgotten.

There is even a tiny bit of a London postcode in the E4 area, I believe, that is outside the M25, the London Orbital Motorway, which many views as a de facto London boundary

If you care to look/search there are plenty of questions and answers, here on the internet, about London postcodes their history, and stuff like that.

london zip code
london zip code
UK postal codes
UK london zip code

Conclusion:

There are no zip codes in London. There are around 2 million addresses. A single postcode consists of around 30 addresses in close proximity. Like a 100 yard stretch of a road. Or even just a single house.

If postcode starts with, and there is a number at the place of *

WC*
EC*
E*
W*
N*
S*
SE*
SW*
NW*
then it’s London

For example, the postcode for 10 Downing Street is SW1A 2AA

The Buckingham palace is SW1A 1AA

London doesn’t have zip codes … exactly. We have postal codes and each one is different depending on where you live, north, southeast or west. And sometimes even how far down a street you live.

The good thing about it is that you can give someone a house number and the street code and end up at their door with no more information than that.

Codes are made up of 2 letters and either 1 or 2 letters space and then a number followed by 2 letters: example: NW6 5BQ… I have no idea if that exists.. but NW6 does (Northwest London)

Then you have towns, Camden, Ealing, Islington, Greenwich, etc. It’s easier when you’re used to it, a nightmare if you’re trying to figure it out! I hope that helps!

ZIP Code Wall Map of New London

Elements of a Postcode

The first part of the Postcode e.g. PO1 is called the outward code as it identifies the town or district to which the letter is to be sent for further sorting.

The second part of the postcode e.g. 1EB is called the inward code.

This identifies the particular sector in the town or district to which the letter has been delivered and a thoroughfare, part of a thoroughfare or an individual address within that sector. The maximum number of delivery points covered by one postcode is 100 and the average is 15.

Postcode Area
This is the largest geographical unit of the postcode.
Each one comprises one or two alpha characters generally chosen to be a mnemonic of the area e.g. MK for Milton Keynes, SO for Southampton. There are currently 124 Postcode areas including Guernsey (GY) Jersey (JE) and the Isle of Man (IM).

Postcode District
Each postcode area is divided into a number of districts which are represented by the numerical portion of each part of the postcode.
These numbers range from 0 to 99 e.g. MK42. In London, a further alpha character is used to divide some districts into subdivisions e.g. EC1A.

Postcode sectors
Sectors are numbered 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0.
It should be noted that when sorting postcodes into order, sector 0 is the tenth sector rather than the first.

UK postal codes
ZIP Code of London

Many respondents have already pointed out the basic problems underlying this question:

  1. The UK does not have Zip codes but a much more focused post code which covers on average about 10 to 15 addresses (some many more and some far less)
  2. London is a large urban mass and having a ‘Zip Code’ covering the addresses of the 8 million residents and the hundreds of thousands of business addresses would be as effective in pinpointing a specific address as it would if New York City were to have just one Zip Code.

What does not seem to have been highlighted is that London was effectively the birthplace of postal coding systems – because it was already a very large and densely populated place when the universal postal system was introduced by the British Parliament which was, and remains, based in London.

The original postal district covered over 240 square miles when the universal post was established with the Penny post in the 1840s. London’s urban population was still growing as was the volume of post and by the 1850s it was necessary to divide London into smaller chunks, each new district with its main sorting office.

These were based on points of the compass:

North (N)

North-West (NW)

North-East (NE)

South (S)

South-West (SW)

South-East (SE)

East (E)

West (W)

Then the two central districts

East Central (EC)

West Central (WC)

South was later abolished and merged between SE and SW, as was NE which merged with E.

Each district has a ‘Head District’, which is where the primary district sorting office would be found (not always the case today), with sub-sorting offices where the ‘walks’ for delivery were assembled around the remainder of the district.

As an example, SW postal district straddles the Thames but had its Head District (SW1) in the vicinity of Westminster where the Post Office expected the highest volume and the post of the highest importance.

The rest of the district was divided into sub-districts which were numbered consecutively based on the initial letter of the town or centre in which the local office was based. This district was a centre of population growth which led to further divisions and a new Head District SW11, similarly the satellites were numbered in the same fashion:

SW2 is Brixton, SW3 is Chelsea, SW4 is Clapham, SW5 is Earl’s Court, etc.

SW12 is Balham, SW13 is Barnes, SW14 is Mortlake, SW15 is Putney etc.

In my lifetime we had the next part of the codes added. My old home in the Brixton area is now SW2 2DH. There are about five codes covering that one street of about 100 houses.

Really high density or high volume areas had an additional digit added, so, for example, SW1A 1AA is one of the postal codes for the House of Commons in the Houses of Parliament in Westminster (The Head District for SW).

That’s just for the Victorian London Postal District, Greater London is now much bigger and includes postcodes that reflect the names of the larger towns that were brought into London in 1965. Croydon for instance has CR0 (unusual for a zero to be used), but its original Head District was based on the old sorting office in Old Town (it now shares facilities with many other districts near Gatwick Airport) .

ZIP Code Wall Map of London, AR ZIP Code Map Laminated

  • Wall Map
  • Laminated
  • Current Map Series
  • City ZIP Code Map
  • 24-inch x 15 inch

This A-Z LondonPostcode Map with Administrative Boundaries is a full-color, double-sided map. Side one features a Greater London Postcode map whilst the reverse features a Greater London Administrative Boundaries Map. Both maps cover the whole of the Greater London area and extend beyond the M25 motorway to CheshamWaltham

ildfordWindsorBeaconsfieldThe Postcode Map of London on side one includes Post Towns with their boundaries, Postcode districts with their boundaries, and Postal county names. The Administrative Boundaries Map of London on side two shows Greater London County boundaries, Unitary Authority boundaries, and District boundaries.

On both sides the A-Z main road mapping is used as the base map; however, there is no index to the main road, place, and area names shown on the map. The boundaries of both the London congestion charge zone and London low emission zone are also shown on side one (the Postcode Map of London) and on side two (the Administrative Boundaries Map of London).

What is the zip code of London UK?

By the 1850s, the rapid growth of the metropolitan area meant it became too large to operate efficiently as a single post town. A Post Office inquiry into the problem had been set up in 1837 and a House of Commons committee was initiated in 1843.

In 1854 Charles Canning, the Postmaster-General, set up a committee at the Post Office in St. Martin’s Le Grand to investigate how London could best be divided for the purposes of directing mail.

In 1856, of the 470 million items of mail sent in the United Kingdom during the year, approximately one-fifth (100 million) were for delivery in London, and half of these (50 million items) also originated there.

The General Post Office under the control of the Postmaster-General devised the area in 1856. Sir Rowland Hill [3] produced an almost perfectly circular area of 12 miles (19 km) radius from the central post office at St. Martin’s Le Grand in central London.

As originally devised, it extended from Waltham Cross in the north to Carshalton in the south and from Romford in the east to Sunbury in the west — six counties at the time if including the City of London.

Within the district, it was divided into two central areas and eight compass points which operated much like separate post towns.

Each was named “London” with a suffix (EC, WC, N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, and NW) indicating the area it covered; each had a separate head office. The system was introduced in 1857 and completed on 1 January 1858.

Click to view the map

PostcodeWardNorthing
E1 6ANBishopsgate181747
E1 7AAPortsoken181382
E1 7ADPortsoken181368
E1 7AEPortsoken181385

Are there ZIP codes in the UK?

Why are Zip Codes in the UK different? While do use an equivalent of American zip codes in the UK, they are not like you may be used to seeing. The British version is known as Postal codes or Postcodes and is formatted as letters and numbers.

What is the central London postcode?

An example postcode for Central London (Westminster) is SW1V 3JD (JSON).

How do I find my ZIP code in the UK?

Royal Mail

Go to Royalmail.com/find-a-postcode, enter your street address, town, or city, and click Find postcode. Everything is fast and easy! While typing, you’ll get search suggestions. Note that UK zip codes have a special format with outward (postcode area) and inward (postal district) parts, e.g. SW19 3AR.

What is the ZIP Code of London
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