UK Postal Counties List

Originally posted on 21st Mar 2009 by Ian Harris

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On a recent project, we were required to create a drop down list to display the UK’s counties as part of a web form collecting users addresses. We assumed that this would be a pretty standard task and that there would be an abundance of pre-configured lists available on the Internet for download. After about an hour of research, it became clear that it was not going to be that simple. All of the lists we unearthed were either incomplete or out of date and it seems that we were not the first developers to run into this trouble.

You can see how it is easy to get it wrong though, take a look at the Wikipedia list of UK counties. The list of counties has changed quite considerably over time, especially in Wales.

As we were only interested in postal addresses for the web form, we decided it would be quicker and easier to compile our own list using the postal county data in this Wikipedia article. So here is a zipped file containing the HTML list as well as a XML list we created of the current UK postal counties. We hope this helps you out in some way. It may be worth just keeping these lists on file somewhere, you never know when you may need them.

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Comments

  • hi there Ian

    Interesting article, we had a similar situation at work with a list of countries, which admittedly can change more often than counties.

    Very kind of you to upload the list, and I look forward to further tutorials from you!

    all the best
    Stuart

  • Hi,

    what about uk *postal codes* for that counties? 😉

  • Hello Ian, thanks for the list and for sharing. Very useful.

    Mike

  • Avon no longer exists!!!

  • I’m not sure the listing for Wales are correct..
    Pembrokeshire?

    • Hi Sean,

      I have listed the postal counties, not the actual geographical counties as it is probably more useful when creating address forms. Take a look at the Wikipedia article.

      Thanks,

      Ian

  • Many thanks for the list

  • Great List.
    Saved me hours of research.
    I’ve Cut/Pasted and formatted it into Excel 2003 / 2007 if anyone wants it?

  • Kevin,

    Many thanks for publishing this, much appreciated.

    I will add you to the links page of the site I’ve created.

  • thanks – just saved me a lot of work!

  • you’re missing Greater Manchester

  • Hello Kevin,

    May I also have the excel version of the postal codes please? Many thanks.

    sambrekar.ishan@gmail.com

  • Thanks for sharing!

  • Hi Ian(?)

    Do you know how I would go about creating an html link from each town to a specific area of a site I am developing for a client? (i.e. Customer clicks their postal town to be taken to area of the site specific to that town?)

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers
    Gary

  • Hi,

    Really use full, saved loads of time, thanks for making it available.

    Kind regards

  • Carolyn O'Kane

    7th Jan 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Hello and thank you!
    Like many others this has just saved me a whole heap of time trying to pull something together for an address database we are in the process of setting up with our colleauges in the US (who aren’t that familiar with UK address formats and counties).
    A version in Excel would be very much appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Carolyn

  • Thanks! Might need this for a project – really helpful

  • Dear all concerned.
    The Excel sheet that I created was done September 2011.
    I am uncertain if I still have the File as I was working for a Different employer at time and it may have been saved on their Servers.

    I will have a look at home over the next couple of days and get back to you all.

    Kind regards,
    Kevin.

  • As like many others I’ve been looking for a definitive list of UK counties. Found this site but the list is not correct.

    Key error (for me as I live in the area) is that ‘Avon’ has not existed since 1996 when it was replaced by:

    Bristol (City Area)
    North Somerset
    South Gloucestershire
    Bath & North East Somerset (BANES)

    If you’re listing ‘Avon’ on a website as part of the address then it’s incorrect.

  • As from 1996 I think it is counties have not been required as part of the address. As from this year I think it is the Royal Mail will stop giving out counties included previously in the address data base. They are out of date, inaccurate (take a look at London) and cause confusion. The best way to address a letter to Great Britain is just street, town and post code.

  • You have London but not Greater London. Middlesx hasn’t existed since 1965! From 1996 the has been no need to use postal counties as they do not reflect geographical counties and casue a lot of confusion.

    The Royal Mail Postcode finder does not require no givecounties now and by creating this you really are perpetuatingthe confusion that has occurred for at least fifty years.

    All are now know as former postal counties;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postal_counties_of_the_United_Kingdom

  • Fantastic stuff Ian, you’ve saved me a fair bit of time there.
    Many thanks, the beers are on me! 🙂

  • Just curious, but why are postal counties which no longer exist needed? There are discrepancies in the list.

    1 Any Street (street)
    Somewheretown (town)
    AB1 2CD (postcode)

    is all that is needed in an address. That is all the Royal Mail looks at.

  • Thanks for the list. It also saved me time too!

  • @Balham

    You don’t mention post town being required as part of the UK address. Yet, the Royal Mail’s website says this is required:

    Street Address
    Locality
    Post Town
    Post Code

  • Thanks a mil for that, Wikipedia is a mine-field!! An example of “too” much information!

  • But this is very outdated too. Mid Glamorgan was abolished in 1996 for example.

    You are correct that this task is becoming a nightmare. I can’t find anyone with an up to date list.

  • Try this:

    Avon
    Bedfordshire
    Berkshire
    Bristol
    Buckinghamshire
    Cambridgeshire
    Cheshire
    Cleveland
    Cornwall
    Cumbria
    Derbyshire
    Devon
    Dorset
    Durham
    East Riding of Yorkshire
    East Sussex
    Essex
    Gloucestershire
    Greater Manchester
    Hampshire
    Herefordshire
    Hertfordshire
    Humberside
    Isle of Wight
    Isles of Scilly
    Kent
    Lancashire
    Leicestershire
    Lincolnshire
    London
    Merseyside
    Middlesex
    Norfolk
    North Yorkshire
    North East Lincolnshire
    Northamptonshire
    Northumberland
    Nottinghamshire
    Oxfordshire
    Rutland
    Shropshire
    Somerset
    South Yorkshire
    Staffordshire
    Suffolk
    Surrey
    Tyne and Wear
    Warwickshire
    West Midlands
    West Sussex
    West Yorkshire
    Wiltshire
    Worcestershire

    Antrim
    Armagh
    Down
    Fermanagh
    Londonderry
    Tyrone

    Aberdeen City
    Aberdeenshire
    Angus
    Argyll and Bute
    Banffshire
    Borders
    Clackmannan
    Dumfries and Galloway
    East Ayrshire
    East Dunbartonshire
    East Lothian
    East Renfrewshire
    Edinburgh City
    Falkirk
    Fife
    Glasgow (City of)
    Highland
    Inverclyde
    Midlothian
    Moray
    North Ayrshire
    North Lanarkshire
    Orkney
    Perthshire and Kinross
    Renfrewshire
    Roxburghshire
    Shetland
    South Ayrshire
    South Lanarkshire
    Stirling
    West Dunbartonshire
    West Lothian
    Western Isles

    Blaenau Gwent
    Bridgend
    Caerphilly
    Cardiff
    Carmarthenshire
    Ceredigion
    Conwy
    Denbighshire
    Flintshire
    Gwynedd
    Isle of Anglesey
    Merthyr Tydfil
    Monmouthshire
    Neath Port Talbot
    Newport
    Pembrokeshire
    Powys
    Rhondda Cynon Taff
    Swansea
    Torfaen
    The Vale of Glamorgan
    Wrexham

    Channel Islands
    Isle of Man

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