Do the UK addresses include a county?

The UK postal system is designed to be efficient and accurate, but it can be confusing for those unfamiliar with it. One common question that arises is whether UK addresses include a county. In short, the answer is yes, but there are some important nuances to consider.

What is a County in the UK?

Firstly, it’s important to define what is meant by “county” in the UK context. Historically, the UK was divided into counties, which were administrative regions with their own local government. However, in the 1990s, a number of changes were made to the administrative structure of the UK, and many traditional counties were abolished or redefined. Today, the term “county” is often used more loosely to refer to a geographical region or area.

UK Postal Addresses

UK postal addresses typically include several lines of information, with each line serving a specific purpose. The first line usually contains the recipient’s name and house number, followed by the street name on the second line. The third line typically includes the town or city, while the fourth line specifies the county (if applicable). Finally, the postcode is added to the end of the address.

Do All UK Addresses Include a County?

Not all UK addresses include a county. In fact, some addresses omit the county entirely, especially in larger towns and cities. This is because the postal system has evolved to prioritize the use of postcodes, which are more precise than counties for locating addresses. If a postcode is included in an address, it is usually sufficient to accurately identify the intended recipient.

When is a County Needed?

However, there are some situations where a county is still necessary. For example, if an address is in a rural area or a small town, a county may be needed to help distinguish it from other nearby locations. Additionally, some organizations, such as banks or government agencies, may require a county to be included in an address for administrative purposes.

How to Include a County in a UK Address?

If you need to include a county in a UK address, it should be included on the fourth line, after the town or city. The county should be written in full (e.g. “Hampshire” rather than “Hants”), and should be capitalized. It’s worth noting that some areas of the UK, such as Greater London, do not have counties in the traditional sense, so in these cases, the city or borough should be used instead.


In conclusion, UK addresses do typically include a county, but there are some exceptions. The use of postcodes has reduced the importance of counties in identifying addresses, but they are still useful in some situations. If you need to include a county in a UK address, it should be added on the fourth line, after the town or city, and written in full and capitalized.