A Table That Shows The UK Region For All Postcode Areas

Are you analysing a bunch of addresses, and want to quickly group them into UK regions? That’s what I was doing recently, and did not find it trivially easy.

A quick visit to your favourite search engine will reveal a list of UK post code areas, and their corresponding towns. But that’s not actually as useful as it might seem. Many large towns and cities take their postcode from another large town or city, often in a different county. Basingstoke (Hampshire) has RG postcodes (Reading, Berkshire), for example.

In London, the problem is reversed. The capital has eight of its own postcodes, but the outer London boroughs have their own. Sorting a diverse list of postcodes does not immediately reveal which are ‘London’.

Sometimes it’s better to group locations by broader UK regions. That’s what I wanted to do with a list of over a thousand UK addresses. Eventually I found a site that (in the hope of selling you a handy map) groups all the postcodes by region. I was able to create a lookup table from that information, which I could then use to sort and count the number of addresses in each region.

The table is below.

Meanwhile, I see that Chris ‘Doogal’ Bell has already created a list of all 3,107 postcode districts, along with geographic information for each.

Postcode prefix Postcode district UK region
AB Aberdeen Scotland
AL St. Albans East of England
B Birmingham West Midlands
BA Bath South West
BB Blackburn North West
BD Bradford North West
BF British Forces Non-geographic
BH Bournemouth South West
BL Bolton North West
BN Brighton South East
BR Bromley Greater London
BS Bristol South West
BT Belfast Northern Ireland
BX Non-geographic Non-geographic
CA Carlisle North West
CB Cambridge East of England
CF Cardiff Wales
CH Chester North West
CM Chelmsford East of England
CO Colchester East of England
CR Croydon Greater London
CT Canterbury South East
CV Coventry West Midlands
CW Crewe North West
DA Dartford Greater London
DD Dundee Scotland
DE Derby East Midlands
DG Dumfries Scotland
DH Durham North East
DL Darlington North East
DN Doncaster East Midlands
DT Dorchester South West
DY Dudley West Midlands
E London Greater London
EC London Greater London
EH Edinburgh Scotland
EN Enfield Greater London
EX Exeter South West
FK Falkirk Scotland
FY Blackpool North West
G Glasgow Scotland
GIR Girobank HQ, Bootle
GL Gloucester South West
GU Guilford South East
GY Guernsey Channel Islands
HA Harrow Greater London
HD Huddersfield North West
HG Harrogate North East
HP Hemel East of England
HR Hereford West Midlands
HS Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Scotland
HU Hull North East
HX Halifax North West
IG Ilford Greater London
IM Isle of Man Isle of Man
IP Ipswich East of England
IV Inverness Scotland
JE Jersey Channel Islands
KA Kilmarnock Scotland
KT Kingston Greater London
KW Kirkwall Scotland
KY Kirkaldy Scotland
L Liverpool North West
LA Lancaster North West
LD Llandrindod Wales
LE Leicester East Midlands
LL Llandudno Wales
LN Lincoln East Midlands
LS Leeds North East
LU Luton East of England
M Manchester North West
ME Medway South East
MK Milton Keynes South East
ML Motherwell Scotland
N London Greater London
NE Newcastle North East
NG Nottingham East Midlands
NN Northampton West Midlands
NP Newport Wales
NR Norwich East of England
NW London Greater London
OL Oldham North West
OX Oxford South East
PA Paisley Scotland
PE Peterborough East England
PH Perth Scotland
PL Plymouth South West
PO Portsmouth South East
PR Preston North West
QC Awarding Bodies Non-geographic
RG Reading South East
RH Redhill South East
RM Romford Greater London
S Sheffield East Midlands
SA Swansea Wales
SE London Greater London
SG Stevenage East of England
SK Stockport North West
SL Slough South East
SM Sutton Greater London
SN Swindon South West
SO Southampton South East
SP Salisbury South West
SR Sunderland North East
SS Southend East of England
ST Stoke on Trent West Midlands
SW London Greater London
SY Shrewsbury Wales
TA Taunton South West
TD Galashiels Scotland
TF Telford West Midlands
TN Tonbridge South East
TQ Torquay South West
TR Truro South West
TS Cleveland North East
TW Twickenham Greater London
UB Southall Greater London
W London Greater London
WA Warrington North West
WC London Greater London
WD Watford Greater London
WF Wakefield North East
WN Wigan North West
WR Worcester West Midlands
WS Walsall West Midlands
WV Wolverhampton West Midlands
XX Amazon.com returns Non-geographic
YO York North East
ZE Shetland Scotland

Update – December 2017

An earlier version of this post used the word ‘districts’ incorrectly. My thanks to commenter ‘Jack’ who writes:

One technical point of order: your mappings are not on postcode ‘districts’; they are post code ‘areas’.

In S40 4BU: Area =S, District = S40, Sector = S40 4, Unit = S40 4BU.

Remember ADSU (“Add Sue”).

Update 2 – April 2018

Per comments from Ruby and Bob I have added East of England as a region. And made the correction of the GIR postcode in response to Hermine’s comment. Following Jose’s comment, and a conversation with Doogal, I’ve actually removed the link to the CSV which assigned regions to each district. First because the link was incorrect, and second because it is possible for postcode districts in the same area to be assigned to different regions. That’s a ‘health warning’ that should accompany the above table.

17 Replies to “A Table That Shows The UK Region For All Postcode Areas”

  1. Thanks for this! However, the link “I’ve added the UK region information to his CSV spreadsheet” is just a .csv copy of the table on this page, not his CSV with your UK regions.

    Thanks for your time!

  2. Thanks very much for your help!

    For the one using the excel file, be aware of this tiny difference
    in the csv:
    GIR Bootle North West
    GIR Non-geographic Non-geographic

    on display:
    IR Non-geographic Non-geographic
    IR Bootle North West

  3. No, but in-day turnaround is unheard of.
    You’ve omitted ‘Yorkshire and the Humber’ in the v2 dataset, all lumped into the ‘North-East’ from the look of it.

  4. Hi. This is very helpful although Yorkshire and the Humber (one of the nine Government regions) appears to be missing? Harrogate (HG) is not typically North East, it’s Yorkshire and the Humber.

    1. Thanks for this. Clearly the ‘regions’ source I had was not up to date. I will correct when I have time. But anyone else wants to send me the corrected data in the meantime I will gladly update.

  5. Hi Robert!

    Very useful, thanks for pulling this together!
    I have spotted an error in the table where Shrewsbury should be in West Midlands not Wales.

    1. Thanks for this. The error here is symptomatic of a wider issue, which is that some postcode areas straddle more than one region. So Shrewsbury is certainly in West Midlands but over half the postcode area is in Wales. What’s needed here is a more granular grid, with U.K. statistical regions listed or each postcode district. For now I’m afraid that’s beyond me but it is perhaps something that could be crowdsourced or scraped from reliable data. If anyone has ideas of good sources of data for this then please leave a comment.

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