The only ‘areas’ I’m familiar with would be UK counties. On my current site thats a drop down list of approx 120 areas....
People do use ‘postcodes’ and these (the first half) denotes a larger area. this may be the info you need to grab.
People do not use a more regional description in the UK, and would not be familiar with describing their location as North/South etc to cut down on regions. England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, yes...but the Cornish may well not want to describe themselves as ‘England’...(not a flippant comment, my market is surf skate stuff and many Cornish customers would hate it if they had to describe Cornwall as English… despite it being the case...its more a courtesy thing....
Also we dont tend to describe ourselves as being in England on postal addresses, if we are in England already....Even for Scotland or Wales, the UK postcode describes the location. I sometimes get customers who will add ‘Scotland’ to an address, but that isnt needed. I do however replicate their description as a courtesy. Basically if a customer describes themselves as bing in Scotland, even though the shippers dont need to know that, I include it so as to placate the customer. But it would be unsual to see ‘Scotland’ ‘Wales’ etc in any UK based selection on addresses.
Then you may want to factor in Northern Ireland, same currency, different area/region/postal rates(when using courior companies)
For shipping most smaller items would be a standard postal rate. For larger items there are often extra charges for ‘highlands and islands’ or a time factor delay of a day or so on estimated delivery to those areas.
Also, if you are contemplating a UK store, if you are not currently selling into the rest of the EU you may well get orders from other European countries as well. I have found my Euro sales have gone up as the GPB Pound has fallen.
So many things to worry about!