What’s in a Postcode? CheapOair Staff October 7, 2011 general Where Are You Headed? Soon into conducting the research for any British vacation after booking London flights, you’ll most certainly come across the UK’s strange letter-number combinations attached to the end of many street addresses. EC1, SW7, WC2 – what do these mean? Essentially, their purpose is no different than that of US zip codes. However, the good news is that – in the case of London anyway – the postcode can inform you to a large extent about which part of London a place is located. Postcodes are used to identify specific areas of London. As you might expect, “E” as the first character in a postcode stands for east, “N” stands for north, “S” for south and “W” for west. “SE” would then obviously mean “south-east” and so forth. Perhaps not quite as intuitive, “C” as a second letter in a postcode means “central.” So, for example, a postcode beginning with “WC” would indicate the location with a WC postcode is in west central London. But that’s just the first half of the equation, and admittedly the most important for folks just hoping to get a general idea of where a particular place happens to be situated. A postcode always has two sections, an outward and inward code separated by a blank space. The outward code is first bit as characterized above while the inward code follows it with a mix of letters and numbers narrowed down to an even more specific area such as a particular street or neighbourhood. A few postcodes areas worth noting for most visitors are as follows: E20: Stratford, site of the London 2012 Olympic Village; EC1: Clerkenwell with its thriving pub and restaurant scene; EC2: Bank, Barbican and Liverpool Street – location of London’s financial district; EC3: Tower Hill and Aldgate – home of the Tower of London and the north side of Tower Bridge; EC4: St. Paul’s, Blackfriars and Fleet Street – St Paul’s Cathedral; NW1: Camden Town, home to the famous Camden Market; SE10: World famous Greenwich; SW1: St. James’s, Westminster, Victoria, Pimlico and Belgravia – St James’s Park, Green Park, Buckingham Palace; SW7: Knightsbridge and South Kensington home of Harrods, upscale restaurants and shopping; SW19: Wimbledon; W1: Chinatown, Fitzrovia, Hyde Park, Marylebone, Mayfair, Piccadilly, Soho, West End; W11: Notting Hill – Portobello Market; WC1: Bloomsbury, home to the British Museum and King’s Cross – St Pancras Station; WC2: Covent Garden, Holborn, and the Strand.