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New to London? Understanding postcodes

If you are new to London, postcodes may seem a random, meaningless jumble of numbers and letters – not so, of course. They are meaningful and quite simply, they let you know what part of town you are in.

When you visit London you will fast discover that knowing the postcode of a building makes it so much easier to locate.

London postcodes help you know where you are and where you want to go. W stands for west, WC stands for west central, E for east, N for north, SW for south west and so on.

Street names are never unique in any capital city and this is especially true in London. Different streets in various parts of town can have the same name, or a slight variation on it. This can be confusing, especially for visitors, who may not notice a subtle difference.  A postcode, however, is unique. With the right postcode, you will be able to find any location you need easily and certainly.

A London postcode has two sets of letters and numbers that work together, 3 of each. For example, SW3 3NR.  The two sets are written separately and in capital letters. The first set identifies the area and postal district and the second identifies the street and house.

Postcodes can take on a certain social status, affecting house prices. In the property market, W2 may be a more desirable postcode than W11, even though the two are neighbours.

These days when you visit London, you are more likely to use a postcode to orientate yourself rather than to post a letter. But it’s always nice to know if you are posting some letters that they will be speeded along to their destination by that oh-so-important postcode.

There are several apps and online information that is useful if you are new to London.  They will help you to to find a postcode or to use the one you have to make your plans.

Find a postcode


It would seem that the intriguing code of London’s postal districts is rather logical and proper – how very English!  Visit London with The London Agent and make your stay as problem free and pleasant as possible.