THE SP9 postcode – which includes the town of Tidworth and its surrounding villages – has been named the most desir able in England according to Royal Mail.

The company has commissioned a study of the most desirable postcodes to live in England, Scotland and Wales to mark the 40th anniversary of the allocation of postcodes to every address in Britain.

The study, by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), calculated the most desirable postcodes based on a range of factors including employment opportunities, health, education, crime rates and housing affordability.

And Tidworth, with its prestigious polo club, and SP9 – which includes many of the attractive villages on Salisbury Plain – came out top.

The GU46 postcode sector cov ering the Hampshire village of Yateley is the second most desir able in England, the study found.

And the Cumbrian seaside resort of St Bees is third.

Steve Rooney, head of Royal Mail’s address management unit, said: “The invention of the postcode revolutionised the way post is sorted and delivered.

“As it has evolved, the post codes have also revolutionised the way companies do business.

“The postcode is now used by businesses and individuals in their everyday activities, whether that is verifying a per son’s address when making a transaction or planning a route on a SatNav system.”