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 full of meaning and import and quite simply, they let you know what part of town you are in. When you visit London you will fast discover that having the postcode of a building in London makes it so much easier to locate. Similarly, if you plan to post a letter here (some of us still do, occasionally!) you will find out that if the street name is correct but the postcode is wrong or incomplete, your precious correspondence may never reach its destination. Who knew that London postcodes were so important?
If you are new to London, London postcodes can be very helpful as they will inform you where you are, or where you are looking for. W stands for west, WC stands for west central, E for east, N for north, SW for south west, etc.
London postcodes are like zip codes to Americans. Street names are never unique in any capital city and this is especially true here. Many of the streets in different parts of town will have the same name, or a slight variation on the same name. This can make things a little complicated, especially for visitors. But a full postcode is unique. With the correct postcode, you will be able to find any location you need in the capital easily and certainly.
A full London postcode will have two sets of letters and numbers, that work together. Each set is a combination of 3 letters and numbers. They are written separately and never combined. The first set identifies the area and postal district and the second, the sector and unit itself i.e the street and house. Occasionally, a row of houses on the same street may have the same full postcode, in which case you will need to have the correct house number to find the exact location.
If you are new to London you may not realise that postcodes 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 are more likely to use a postcode to orientate yourself, find a location or to plan a journey, than to post a letter. But it’s always nice to know when you are dropping some post through a pillar box (hopefully one of London’s old red historical one’s) that it will get safely to it’s destination, with the right postcode.
There are several apps and pages on the internet that are very useful if your visit London and will help you to either find a correct postcode, or help you to use the postcode you already have to make your plans. Here are some useful one’s:
So there you have it. The intriguing code of London’s postal districts and areas turned out to be rather logical and proper, after all. How very British! We like to provide those new to London with useful and informative information here at The London Agent. Visit London and make your stay with us in the capital problem free and pleasant.
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