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sandy, utah
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Is using a postal code the best way to program a Sat-Nav?

I recently bought a Sat-Nav/GPS and ordered maps of Great Britain which we'll be visiting in 5 weeks. Will figuring out what the postal code is for each place we're going to be stopping at be the best way to navigate our way around the country to make sure we don't get lost? Are postal codes specific to a particular address/tourist attraction? Are they a combination of letters and numbers? Thanks for your help.

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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1. Re: Is using a postal code the best way to program a Sat-Nav?

Yes! This is the *only* way to use a SATNAV in the U.K.

Postal codes are very specific--it isn't anything like zip codes in the U.S.

For example, my postal code in Windsor was different than the school that is .3 miles from my house.

Most attractions will have their own postal code.

If memory serves, one of your stops is at Fountain Abbey.

The address is as follows:

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden

Ripon Nr Harrogate

North Yorkshire, UK

HG4 3DY

Look at the second line--Ripon near Harrogate.

Ripon is three miles away from Fountain Abbey. Harrogate is 17 miles away. Note there is no street name or street address. (this is not unusual for many older attractions)

North Yorkshire and or York isn't going to do it.

You have to rely on that postal code.

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
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2. Re: Is using a postal code the best way to program a Sat-Nav?

A post code will cover a maximum of 100 properties. In town they'll normally get you to within tens of yards of your final destination. In the countryside, due to lack of properties, it may be half a mile.

The only way you are going to get nearer is to use exact latitude & longitude.

But for something like Fountains Abbey I'd just point the car in the general direction and watch out for signs to the attraction.

london
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22 reviews
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3. Re: Is using a postal code the best way to program a Sat-Nav?

it is possible to programme a satnav with a street address but it can be time-consuming and tricky (for instance just how many places are called "Station Road" or "High Street") ... a post code is unique, is short and easy to programme in, and eliminates confusion

Bingley, United...
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for Edinburgh
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4. Re: Is using a postal code the best way to program a Sat-Nav?

< (for instance just how many places are called "Station Road" or "High Street") >

Or the classic one of wanting to go to a football ground in London and ending up at a village outside York

hellomagazine.com/royalty/…

London, United...
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5. Re: Is using a postal code the best way to program a Sat-Nav?

In my experience, it depends. The system that we have, built in to the car, allows programming by post code and by house number, street, town quite format. One occasion of trying to reach a particular place comes to mind. We were given a post code to help us reach it and followed the instructions. Eventually the sat nav voice said 'you have reached your destination, on the right'. We looked at a field. Point is that it was a rural destination and as has been noted already, in rural areas post codes cover large geographic areas. Where appropriate, then, it might be an idea to use the sat nav in conjunction with looking for signs for your intended destination. Possibly you might find some places in a 'points of interest' feature, if the system that you have has such a facility.

Hampshire, United...
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for Eastleigh, Winchester
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6. Re: Is using a postal code the best way to program a Sat-Nav?

You can also use the POI (point of interest) search function for businesses and attractions.

U.S. expats
Destination Expert
for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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208 reviews
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7. Re: Is using a postal code the best way to program a Sat-Nav?

Most attractions post the Sat Nav information--usually it is the post code.

In some cases, where the parking lot may be quite a distance from, say, a stately manor house, there are usually directions to that effect on the attraction website.

In many rural locals the streets aren't signed, so just watch the purple line on the SATNAV. You'll know whether to bear right at a fork, or take the third exit off a roundabout more easily.

Edited: 03 April 2012, 04:10
Devizes, United...
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8. Re: Is using a postal code the best way to program a Sat-Nav?

I have a Mio satnav which allows me to enter a specific area of a large town, so for example, when working in Bristol, I can either put in the post code if I know it, or if I don't know it, I can specify say "Brislington", or "Southmead", and then enter the address, after which the post code automatically displays.

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
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9. Re: Is using a postal code the best way to program a Sat-Nav?

Just don't forget to use your common sense as well. Endless amusement for the locals in the summer with people who rely on them and don't look at the signs or the surrounds. Mix the two and you'll do fine. Most of the destinations are well signposted with big brown signs, indicating places of interest.

www.highways.gov.uk/business/32118.aspx

Whitstable, United...
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10. Re: Is using a postal code the best way to program a Sat-Nav?

I know this is too late for the OP but a word of warning! I have just bought a Peugeot car that caters for the French road system, and does NOT cater for the full UK postcode make it very tedious to try and find the last few miles (in rural areas) of your journey. Apparently they are thinking about UK suitable software soon.