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Blog posts tagged with 'postcodes'

How to Structure a UK Address and Postcode

Postcodes have existed in the UK for over 50 years now. It’s hard to imagine how our postal service operated before they existed. But how many of us truly understand what our postcode means or the importance when sending things in the post?

There’s nothing more frustrating than your post going missing, especially if you’re a business that sends out products it can waste time, money and resources trying to fix failed deliveries and find missing post. But it can easily be avoided. 

When sending mail to a UK address you need to provide a full and accurate address, complete with postcode. The purpose of the postcode is to enable the Royal Mail to sort your post quickly and accurately.

In this blog post we show you how UK addresses and postcodes are structured so you can make sure you maximise the chances of a successful delivery. 

The UK Address  

Below is a breakdown of each part of your address:

3X Software Ltd

(Addressee Name/Business Name)

Suite 3, Penrhos Manor

(Building number/name)

Oak Drive

(Street name)

Colwyn Bay

(Postal Town)




(Country - only required for international post)

LL29 7YW


Addressee Name/Business Name 

We need to know who your post is going to so the first line should always be the addressee. If your post is going to a business you might just use the business name.

Building Number/Name and Street Name

The next line of the address is the building name or number and the street or road name.

If your property has a name, it is most commonly entered as a standalone line before the street name. For example:

3X Software Ltd Headquarters,

Oak Drive,


Be aware that in the UK not all buildings or houses have numbers, some only have house names and some might have both a name AND a number! Usually if the address is numbered the street name is on the same line of the address. But if it only has a name it’s on a separate line from the street name. Take a look at the example below to see what we mean. 

23 Princes Drive,

Penrhos Manor, 

Oak Drive

Postal Town, County and Country

Next you need the postal town of your address. Make sure you include this as there are lots of duplicated street names in the UK. Equally important is the county. Counties are geographical and administrative sub-divisions of the UK. Many English countries end in -shire which is the older historically equivalent word for a county. 

And did you know that the United Kingdom is actually made up of 4 countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland? If you’re posting from outside of the UK you’ll need to add the country but domestic post doesn’t require the country. 

Colwyn Bay

(Postal Town)





 The Postcode      

The numbers and letters which make up a postcode may seem random at first, but each is significant and vital to differentiating addresses accurately. 

The 3 sections represent your area, district and street in order to make your location easily identifiable via postcode lookup. Usually the postcode is split into 2 parts. The first and second section are written together then there’s a space before the last section.

Here’s a breakdown of each section of a UK postcode:


The first 1 or 2 letters represent the postcode area that you live in


The second part indicates the postcode district that you live in

LL29 7YW

The final part of the postcode identifies the unit/Street that you live in

Common Address Mistakes

Common mistakes include putting your postcode before your county, or melding two separate address categories into one like, like so:

3X Software Ltd,

Suite 3, Penrhos Manor,

Oak Drive

Colwyn Bay, Conwy,

LL29 8HT  

It might not seem important but incorrectly formatted addresses can cause problems in delivery so make sure you’re as accurate as possible when addressing post. 

Still not sure about UK addresses?

Did you know The Royal Mail keeps all its addresses in their Postcode Address File database (known as the PAF) for short. Between four and five thousand records are updated each day, making it by far the most reliable UK address database system. At the time of posting the database holds over 1.7 MILLION postcodes and over 31 MILLION delivery points. 

Addresses and postcodes can be unnecessarily complicated but Postcodes4U provides a simple solution. If you need further information about postcodes, or want to check addresses against the most reliable address database in the UK, visit

We utilise the Royal Mail's Postcode Address File in order to provide the most up-to-date and accurate address information available in the UK. 

We also create easy to use plugins for e-commerce platforms and provide solutions that ensure your business is always able to use the most accurate up to date address information. 

Find out more here and try it out for free with 30 free search credits to get you started. 


Funs Facts About Postcodes

We’re passionate about postcodes at Postcodes4U. And why wouldn’t we be? Postcodes make delivering post even more efficient and they’re an easy way to look up and address in the UK. Just try out our free quick postcode lookup

Here are 25 fun facts about postcodes that you might not know. You never know one of them might come up in the next quiz you take part in.




  1. The Queen has a unique postcode for Buckingham Palace, SW1A 1AA.


  1. Even Father Christmas has his own postcode so he can receive all those sacks of Christmas lists. It is SAN TA1 (in Canada it’s HOH OHO ...) and letters sent to this postcode actually do arrive.


  1. London was the first city to see the beginnings of post coding. In 1857 it was divided into 10 postal districts based on compass points: N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW, EC for East Central and WC for West Central.


  1. Nowadays NE stands for Newcastle and S for areas of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire around Sheffield.


  1. Liverpool was the first provincial town to be divided into postal districts in 1864, followed by Manchester.


  1. Numbers were first added to the postal districts to create ‘sub-districts’ in 1917 to help the woman who took over the sorting work while the men were fighting in the First World War.


  1. It wasn’t until 1959, when the post office began to experiment with sorting machines, that Norwich was selected to trial modern post codes. 150,000 addresses received a code of NOR followed by two digits and a letter.


  1. The late, great Labour minister Tony Benn was the Postmaster General who decided to extend the postcode system to the whole of the UK in 1965.


  1. The eight-year programme to create a postcode for every home in the country began in Croydon 1966 and finished 40 years ago in 1974 with the recoding of Norwich.


  1. The postcode HD7 5UZ in Huddersfield, West Yorks, covers seven streets, more than any other in the UK.


  1. In 2008 Liverpool and England star Steven Gerrard built a new two storey gym in his back garden in the Merseyside suburb of Freshfield. It was so big it had a different postcode to his house.


  1. Britain is one of seven post coding systems in the world that use an alphanumeric system - a combination of letter and numbers - which allows a greater number of unique combinations to be used.


  1. The combination of letters and numbers was also chosen because people can remember a mixture of numbers and letters more easily than a list of numbers.


  1. Optical recognition machines read the postcodes and automatically convert them to phosphor dots. These are in turn read by the sorting machines which handle correctly addressed mail, post-coded letters 20 times faster than manual sorting.


  1. The Girobank at Bootle in Liverpool was given its own postcode, GIR 0AA, that did not fit into the standard, geographical system. The postcode was taken over by its successors Alliance & Leicester and is currently used by Santander.


  1. In comedy Red Dwarf, the space ship is the size of a city, and has the fictional postal address complete with postcode: Red Dwarf, Deep Space, RE1 3DW.


  1. The furthest point from the sea in the UK is Church Flatts farm near the village of Coton in the Elms, which lies in the DE12 postcode area in Derbyshire.


  1. The British Forces Post Office has its own postcode, BF.


  1. Postcodes have been adopted by countries around the world and 117 of the 190 countries in the Universal Postal Union have postcode systems.


  1. In India they are known as PIN (standing for Postal Index Number) codes, and in the United States as ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) codes.


  1. One of the most famous zip codes is Beverly Hills 90210 - the same as a teen TV show. It is also one of the wealthiest areas in the US.


  1. Countries without postcodes include Jamaica, Ghana and Hong Kong.


  1. The Royal Mail uses the imaginary postcode prefix FX for training purposes.


  1. Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford, East London, is so big it has its own postcode, E20, which was previously the fictional location for BBC soap EastEnders.


  1. There is no danger of the UK running out of postcodes anytime soon. The current alpha-numeric system has enough potential combinations to create 48million postcodes.


Try out our free quick address lookup and if you’re an e-commerce business we can provide integrations to ensure you always have the correct customer address saving you time and money in your business. Find out more here and get started today with 30 free search credits.