How to Read Area Codes in the UK
Let’s try to go systematically through the phone numbers and explain what every part means and what it is for.
International Calls to the UK
For a start, when you’re calling a UK phone number from another country, you should put +44 before the rest of the numbers. After +44 you should exclude 0 that you have in the phone number, as in example (020) 7946 0025 becomes +44 20 7946 0025.
Every landline phone number in the UK is made from two parts – the area code and a local number. Full UK landline phone number is always 10 or 11 digits.
Every area has its own code that identifies the area and connects the number when called from another area. Area code can have between two and five digits, depending on the area. So, for example, London’s area code is 020, while York’s is 01904. When you want to call a number from the area you’re in, you can only use local number (in most areas, while in some you have to dial full number), BUT when you’re calling another area number, you have to put its area code in front of the local number.
The Local Number
Every household has its unique local number within its area. That means there could only be one local number 123456 within York, for instance, but there could be another one like that in Cambridge. So if you’re calling that number from York, you don’t need to put its area code in front of it, but if you’re calling from London, dial full number.
Landline phone numbers in the UK for normal homes and businesses always start with 01 or 02 (geographic) and with 03 (non-geographic). Mobile phones start with 07. Corporate numbers have 05 at the beginning, while service numbers start with 08 or 09.