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London postal district

The system of London postal districts in London, England predated the introduction of postcodes throughout the United Kingdom in the 1960s. The first system, of ten sectors identified by letters, was introduced in 1858; the numbered subdivisions date from 1917.

The London postal districts are organized by sectors, as follows, and then numbered within their sectors.

  • In central London, WC and EC (West Central and East Central)
  • In outer London, N, NW, SW, SE, W and E.

Note that London postal districts rarely coincide with the boundaries of London boroughs (even the old, smaller boroughs). The numbering system also appears arbitrary on the map: for example, NW1 is close to central London, but NW2 is a long way out. This is because, within each sector, they were numbered by first assigning the number 1 to the closest district to the centre, and then the rest of the number were assigned alphabetically by the name of the district they represented. Also, there are places within Greater London that don't have "London" postcodes (eg, Enfield) - because of the expansion of London over time.

It is common to use postal districts as placenames in London, particularly in the property market: a property may be described as being "in N11".

The postal districts are:

The soap opera EastEnders is set in the fictional London postal district of London E20.

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