UK Postcode Format – How To Write A Postcode

Nothing is more frustrating than lost mail even after providing the correct address.

If you are from the UK and want to ensure that your delivery reaches the correct destination, then you must mention the postcode by following the correct UK postcode format.

It might seem complicated at first, but it is simple when you divide the code into parts and understand how to mention each one of them.

The postcode for the United Kingdom consists of 4 parts, including the area, district, sector and unit.

If you want to know the correct format for postcodes in the UK, this article is all you need as it’s all about how to correctly write the postcode format and how important it is for you to write it correctly.

In summary, here is what you will learn about:

  • UK ZIP Code Format
  • The Correct Way to Write a Postcode UK In an Address
  • The Importance of Using the Correct UK Address Format
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Further Reading for UK postcodes.

UK ZIP Code Format

The postcode is made up of two parts: the Outward Code and the Inward Code. The first part of the postcode contains the Outward Code to indicate the postcode area and district.

It is composed of two to four alphanumeric codes which look like AB13, B48, or CH1, for example.

uk postcode format New

UK postcode format example

The second part of the postcode contains the Inward Code, which comes after a space following the Outward Code.

It comprises three alphanumeric codes to identify the postcode sector and postcode unit.  The Inward Code is needed to know the street, property, or organisation.

Here are some examples of what UK postcodes look like:

Postcode Landmark Address Outward code Inward code
Area District Sector Unit
SE1 2UP Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP

SE 1 2 UP


London Eye

Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB

SE 1 7 PB
EH1 2NG Edinburgh Castle

Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG

EH 1  2 NG
BN1 1EE Royal Pavilion

4/5 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton BN1 1EE

BN 1 1 EE

The Correct Way to Write a Postcode in a UK Address

There are different ways to write an address when sending mail or packages but the way of writing a postcode remains the same.

If you are writing addresses in application or sign up forms, the steps below do not apply since all you need to use is a comma to separate each address information.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on the correct way to put a postcode in an address when sending mail.

Step One

Mention the addressee’s name on the first line, and make sure to align the text to the left. The name should be mentioned like this:

  • Mr Will Goldberg

For business, you need to add the business or organisation name followed by a building name, both in separate lines. For a PO box address, in addition to the name of the organisation, you have to mention the PO box number as well.

Step Two

The next step is to mention the street and house number if it’s a house address. Make sure to mention the house and street number in a separate line and align it left. Just the street number is necessary for businesses, and for the PO box, you can skip this step. There should be no comma or any full stop while stating the street number.

  • 71 Cherry Court (Street)

Step Three

The third is to write the post town name in the next line. The town or city name has to be in capital letters.

  • STOCKTON-ON-TEES (City/Town)

Step Four

Here’s where you will be adding the postcode to the address. The correct place for a postal code in the UK address is the last line. All letters must be uppercase or capital, and there should be a single space between the outward and inward codes.

  • TS17 0WA (Postcode)

After following the above-mentioned steps, the format of your address should look like the ones mentioned below.

●Business address format in UK

Mr Joe Goldberg (addressee)

Dander Mifflin Printers Ltd (company)

Bane Towers (building)

20 Myton Rd (street)


TS17 0WA (Postcode)

●Po box address format in UK

Ms Beck Hobbes (addressee)

Quality Ltd (company)

HR Department (department name optional)

PO Box 345 (PO Box Number)


WC2H (postcode)

●Home address format in UK

Mr Peter White (addressee)

71 Cherry Court (street)


SO53 5PD (Postcode)

Note: If you are mentioning a handwritten postcode, try using the appropriate pen and writing clearly so people can read it easily.

Besides, if you are typing the postcode in an address, try using the simplest and most understandable font and write a separate line for the postcode.

For the normal way of writing postcode in an address, here are some examples of what it would look like:

  • Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB, United Kingdom
  • 110 Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7XG, United Kingdom
  • 113 Lambeth Rd, London SE1 7LS, United Kingdom
  • Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, United Kingdom
  • Brockwell Park, Brockwell Park Gardens, London SE24 0NG, United Kingdom

The Importance of Using the Correct UK Address Format

It is very important to follow the correct format due to following reasons:

  • The Royal Mail is the authority that handles mail all over the UK and has certain protocols on address format. They do not entertain parcels with incorrect formats, so make sure to follow the correct format when writing the address.
  • With an incorrect format, the chances of your post not reaching the correct addresses are very high.
  • The Royal Mail can even send your mail back in case the address does not follow the correct address format.
  • If you use the correct format, the mail delivery will be swift, and you will be able to deliver your post on time.
  • For businesses, it is even more crucial to mention their address in a given format, or they will be losing customers due to late deliveries.
  • A correctly stated address is easy to understand and that’s exactly what you want while sending a parcel in the UK.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you do if Royal Mail returns your post due to the wrong address format?

If they return your mail with the incorrect format, you will have to correct it and send it back. Moreover, you will also have to pay the delivery fee again.

If your parcel has a wrong postcode or address format, the Royal Mail can hold on to your parcel for 18 days maximum and will be returned if not claimed.

If you are not sure about the status of your parcel, you can easily track it down on Royal mail tracking. Moreover, if you still have confusion as to why your parcel is undelivered you can call Royal Mail’s customer service.


To sum it up, a correctly stated postcode with the correct address format is highly likely to be delivered at the right time and place.

Therefore, make sure to double-check after writing the address and postcode or there is a high chance of your mail coming back to you.

If you’d like to learn more about UK postcodes, you can do further reading with the list of UK postcodes. Check out the UK Postcode Map to see the neighbourhoods covered and boundaries per UK Postcode.

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