Cookie Policy

Find out what cookies are and how they are used on the Edinburgh Castle website.

Like many websites, the Edinburgh Castle website uses small files called cookies to help provide the best possible online experience for you.

This page will tell you what cookies are and what they do, how we use them and how you can control your cookie preferences.

Who are we?

The Edinburgh Castle website is managed by Historic Environment Scotland, the lead public body established to investigate, care for and promote Scotland’s historic environment. We’re a non-departmental public body (NDPB) with charitable status.

Edinburgh Castle is one of over 300 properties of national importance that we care for on behalf of Scottish Ministers.

Find out more about how we handle personal data in our privacy notice.

What are cookies?

Cookies are little strings of computer code that websites place on your computer.

Some cookies are deleted after the browser is closed (session cookies). Others delete after a certain period of time has passed or the cookie cache has been manually cleared from your browser (persistent cookies). Depending on the persistent cookie, they may last from one day to two years. We use both session and persistent cookies.

Cookies that are set on the Edinburgh Castle website by us are 'first party' cookies. They help the website to function and provide us with anonymised data about how the website is being used.

'Third party' cookies are set on our website by us or our partners or service providers for advertising purposes and online security. These cookies help us learn more about you so we know you are a trusted visitor of the website. This way, we can verify you are not a bot (robot) and can personalise our marketing offers to you.

Essential cookies

These cookies are used to load parts of the website you otherwise couldn’t, load content quickly, make sure your visit to the website is secure, and remember your settings (like your cookie preferences). These cookies are automatically selected in the cookie preferences.

The only essential cookie provided by a third party service on the Edinburgh Castle website is Cloudflare. This cookie recognises you as an individual even if you’re using a shared IP address - like coffee shop wifi - and applies security settings. For more detail, read their Privacy Notice.

Performance cookies

We use performance cookies to help us better our website and your experience. They:

  • tell us if you’ve been on our website before
  • help us understand if there are problems on the website or if you can’t find what you’re looking for
  • track your behaviour so we can find out what content you’re most interested in

Any performance cookies we use collect anonymised data to protect your identity. We don’t collect any data on age, gender, sex, political or religious beliefs, nationality, or postcodes through cookies.

The performance cookies on Edinburgh Castle are set by us. Google Analytics is an example of a first party cookie used for performance. Other organisations can’t access your data or view cookies used by our website, and we do not sell your data to any third parties.

Marketing cookies

We use advertising cookies from third parties to understand your interests and show you relevant adverts based on your browsing habits. If you click on a specific advertisement, these cookies track that interaction and may show you similar offers.

If you accept marketing cookies, we may advertise to you with the aim of generating income for the ongoing management of Edinburgh Castle and protection of Scotland’s heritage. Many of our visitors fund us by visiting Edinburgh Castle and other historic places we care for or by becoming Historic Scotland Members. To encourage more visitors and new members, we are reliant on marketing.

There are times when we want to market to visitors who use social media. To do this, we may use third party cookies to promote relevant offers, events, and promotions on social media.

For example, we might place a tiny image called a pixel on our web pages that allows Facebook to place a cookie on your web browser. If you use Facebook and have accepted Marketing Cookies on our website, Facebook will recognise you as an Edinburgh Castle website visitor and show you marketing messages on our behalf. If you receive marketing from us on social media platforms, you are able to withdraw your consent by adjusting your privacy settings on the social media platform itself.

We may also use online remarketing through cookies. This system allows us or our advertising partners to show you adverts based on your browsing patterns and interactions with the Edinburgh Castle website. This means that when you are on another website, you may be shown products or offers related to your browsing history on the Edinburgh Castle website.

The marketing and remarketing cookie services we use are usually managed by third parties. The privacy policies for the third party cookie providers we work with on the Edinburgh Castle website can be found here:

  • Google Adwords allows conversion tracking, optimisation and remarketing.
  • Google DoubleClick allows conversion tracking, and optimisation.
  • Facebook pixel allows conversion tracking, optimisation, and remarketing.
  • Media iQ pixel allows the display of adverts which are relevant to you and your interests.

Manage your cookie settings

On the Edinburgh Castle website, we only use performance and marketing cookies after you have given your consent. If you don’t give your permission, we will only collect basic, essential cookies.

You can also control your cookies in your web browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to manage and delete them, please use the following links:

To quickly manage third party cookies generated by advertisers, visit Your Online Choices.

We aren’t responsible for the information or the setting of cookies on these external websites.