Terms and Conditions

Consumer Terms

Online Admission Tickets, Event Tickets, Afternoon Tea Tickets, Afternoon Tea Gift Vouchers and Explorer Passes

  1. These terms

    1.1 What these terms cover. These are the terms and conditions on which we supply admission tickets, Event tickets, Edinburgh Castle Afternoon Tea Experience Tickets ("Afternoon Tea Tickets"), Edinburgh Castle Afternoon Tea Experience Gift Vouchers ("Afternoon Tea Gift Vouchers") and Explorer Passes to you through our online booking system at https://tickets.historic-scotland.gov.uk/webstore/landingPage?CG=TKTS&C=GA  ("Website"). Please note that additional information with regard to Explorer Passes can be found here: https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/explorer-passes/. Please note that additional information with regard to Afternoon Tea at Edinburgh Castle can be found here: https://www.edinburghcastle.scot/whats-on/afternoon-tea-experience. If you are a business and have a travel trade account with us then separate terms and conditions will apply to purchases made through your travel trade account.

    1.2 Why you should read them. Please read these terms carefully before you submit your order for admission tickets, Event tickets, Afternoon Tea tickets, Afternoon Tea gift vouchers or Explorer Passes to us. These terms tell you who we are, how we will provide admission tickets, Events tickets, Afternoon Tea tickets, Afternoon Tea gift vouchers and/or Explorer Passes to you, how you and we may change or end the contract, what to do if there is a problem and other important information. If you think that there is a mistake in these terms, please contact us to discuss.

    1.3 Are you a business customer or a consumer? In some areas you will have different rights under these terms depending on whether you are a business or consumer. You are a consumer if:

    You are an individual; and

    You are buying admission tickets, Event tickets, Afternoon Tea tickets, Afternoon Tea gift vouchers and/or Explorer Passes from us wholly or mainly for your personal use (not for use in connection with your trade, business, craft or profession).

    1.4  If you are a business customer this is our entire agreement with you. If you are a business customer these terms constitute the entire agreement between us in relation to your purchase. You acknowledge that you have not relied on any statement, promise, representation, assurance or warranty made or given by or on behalf of us which is not set out in these terms and that you shall have no claim for innocent or negligent misrepresentation or negligent misstatement based on any statement.

  2. Information about us and how to contact us

    2.1 Who we are. We are Historic Environment Scotland, an executive non-departmental public body, incorporated and established under the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014, being a registered charity (Scottish Charity number SC045925) and having its principal office at Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1SH Our registered VAT number is GB221868015.

    Some of our events are run by, or in conjunction with, our subsidiary, Historic Environment Scotland Enterprises Limited, a limited company incorporated in Scotland under registered number SC510997, whose registered office is at Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1SH. Its registered VAT number is GB221868015. In these terms, “we” means Historic Environment Scotland and/or Historic Environment Scotland Enterprises Limited, as appropriate.

    2.2 How to contact us. You can contact us by telephoning our customer service team on 0131 668 8095 or by writing to us at ticketing@hes.scot or Admissions Team, Historic Environment Scotland, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1SH. Our office is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm GMT and closed during UK public holidays and weekends.

    2.3 How we may contact you. If we have to contact you we will do so by telephone, where you have provided us with a telephone contact number, or by writing to you at the email address or postal address you provided to us in your order for admission tickets, Event tickets, Afternoon Tea tickets, Afternoon Tea gift vouchers and/or Explorer Passes.

    2.4 "Writing" includes emails. When we use the words "writing" or "written" in these terms, this includes emails.

  3. Our contract with you

    3.1 You can place your booking through our Website. Upon selecting the attractions and/or events you wish to attend and admission tickets, Afternoon Tea tickets, Afternoon Tea gift vouchers or Explorer Pass you wish to purchase, visit and tickets, Afternoon Tea tickets, Afternoon Tea gift vouchers or Explorer Passes you wish to purchase, you will be guided through the process of placing an order.

    3.2 An admission ticket, event ticket or an Afternoon Tea ticket is valid only for the date stated upon them, which you select during the booking process. A ticket is required per person. Please note that children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Ratios apply:

    Under 5s: one adult for every two children

    Ages 5-7: one adult for every six children

    Ages 8-16: one adult for every ten children

    3.3 Some of our events require separate Event Tickets to be purchased. Entry to other events is included in our general admission tickets. Our Website will explain the position for each event. Where entry to an event is included in our general admission ticket, it will also be included in an Explorer Pass. Where a separate Event Ticket is required, entry to the event will not be included in an Explorer Pass.

    3.4 Some of our events have limited numbers of Event Tickets available. For those events, you will need to obtain an Event Ticket for all attendees, including children under 5. You will be directed to obtain Event Tickets for attendees of all ages during the booking process.

    3.5 Some of our events have age restrictions. The age restrictions will be specified on the Website. We reserve the right to refuse admission to the event to any person who, in our opinion, is under the minimum age and/or cannot prove that they are at least the minimum age required. We expressly reserve the right to request photographic identification verifying your age. If we refuse admission for this reason, no refund will be provided.

    3.6 Event Tickets shall not include full access to the site at which the event is being run, unless otherwise stated on our Website. If you are found in a restricted area during the event, you may be removed from the event. No refund will be provided.  

    3.7 An Afternoon Tea gift voucher is valid for a single use within 6 months from the date of purchase. Vouchers will not be accepted after this time. An Afternoon Tea gift voucher is required per person. No voucher is required for children under the age of 5 years. Please note that children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The ratios stated in condition 3.1 above also applies in respect of Afternoon Tea gift vouchers.

    3.8 An Explorer Pass is valid for either 5 or 14 consecutive days depending on which type of Pass you purchase. During the validity of the Explorer Pass you can visit as many of our properties as you wish at no additional cost. Your pass will activate on your first site visit. Multiple sites may be visited in any one day and only one visit per site is permitted. A ticket is required per person. Please note that children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The ratios stated in condition 3.1 above also applies in respect of Explorer Passes.

    3.9 How we will accept your order. Our acceptance of your order will take place when we email you to accept it, at which point a contract will come into existence between you and us.

    3.10 If we cannot accept your order. This might be because the admission ticket, Event ticket, Afternoon Tea ticket, Afternoon Tea gift vouchers or Explorer Pass you wish to purchase is no longer available in the quantity or on the date (or time) you have chosen or there may be an issue with your chosen method of payment.

    3.11 Your order number. We will assign an order number to your order and tell you what it is when we email you to accept your order. You must use this order number when collecting admission tickets, Event tickets, Afternoon Tea tickets, Afternoon Tea gift vouchers, Explorer Passes and/or collecting a proof of purchase ticket (for souvenir and audio guides) from the admissions area at the site you are visiting.

    3.12 We accept no liability for lost or stolen admission tickets, Event Tickets, Afternoon Tea Tickets, Afternoon Tea Gift Vouchers, and/or Explorer Passes, and we will not refund you for unused admission tickets, Event Tickets, Afternoon Tea Tickets, Afternoon Tea Gift Vouchers and/or Explorer Passes in those circumstances. You will need to purchase replacement admission tickets, Event Tickets, Afternoon Tea Tickets, Afternoon Tea Gift Vouchers and/or Explorer Passes.  

    3.13 Unless we have granted permission to you, you cannot combine an admission ticket, to any of our sites, and/or an Event ticket, Afternoon Tea ticket, Afternoon Tea gift voucher and/or Explorer Pass with any hospitality, travel or accommodation service and/or any other merchandise, product or service to create a ticket package, and sell or otherwise transfer such ticket package for profit or commercial gain.

    3.14 We will take all reasonable care to ensure that all details, descriptions and prices of items appearing on the Website are correct at the time when the relevant information was entered onto the system. Although we aim to keep the Website as up to date as possible, the information appearing on the Website at a particular time may not always reflect the position exactly at the moment you place an order.

    3.15 It is your responsibility to check your order and tickets or gift vouchers throughout the online purchase process as mistakes cannot always be rectified.

    3.16 Any description given on the Website is for information only and does not constitute a sale by description. No warranty (express or implied) is given concerning the quality, condition or suitability for any purpose of any item purchased from the Website. 

    3.17 We reserve the right to refuse admission to a site where you have not adhered to any provision of these terms.

  4. Your rights to make changes


    If you wish to make a change to your order please contact us within seven working days from the date of purchase. We will let you know if the change is possible. If it is possible we will let you know about any changes to the price of your order, the timing of supply or anything else which would be necessary as a result of your requested change and ask you to confirm whether you wish to go ahead with the change.

  5. Our rights to make changes
    5.1 We may have to close a site or cancel an event at short notice. Any closures and/or cancellations will be notified on the HES website at: www.historicenvironment.scot/check-for-closures. Where you have purchased admission tickets, Event Tickets or Afternoon Tea Tickets for a specific date, in the event of an unexpected closure or cancellation we will make reasonable efforts to contact you, using the contact information provided by you at the time of booking, to inform you of the closure or cancellation. If you do not hear from us, please contact us at ticketing@hes.scot within seven working days from the date your visit was scheduled for. A ticket will be offered to you for another date if possible. If an alternative date is not available or the alternative date is not suitable then a full refund will be given. Requests for refunds must be received by us within seven working days from the date your visit was scheduled for. Requests received out-with this time frame will not be granted. On receipt of a refund request, we will endeavour to process your request within seven working days on receipt of your application. If your refund request is approved we will process your payment back to the card used to make the purchase. It may take up to five working days for funds to return to your account. If a site is closed or an event cancelled, we shall not be responsible for any travelling costs you may incur, and no other compensation will be payable.

    5.2 We reserve the right in exceptional circumstances to amend the programme of an event without prior notice and without liability.

  6. Delivery
    6.1 Collection by you. You can only collect your admission tickets, Event Tickets, Afternoon Tea Tickets and Explorer Passes at the site you are visiting, providing the site has a ticket machine or admissions area on site, by using your order number. Where you are attending a site which does not have a ticket machine or admissions area enabling you to collect your tickets you will, when making your booking, only be offered “Print at Home” as a delivery option (please see clause 6.2 below for details). In case of problems collecting admission tickets, Event Tickets, Afternoon Tea Tickets or Explorer Passes from our ticket machines, you must bring along proof of identity to allow staff at the attraction to trace your order. Only admission tickets, Event Tickets, Afternoon Tea Tickets or Explorer Passes purchased directly from us or one of our authorised distributors are valid for admission to our sites or events. Admission tickets, Event Tickets, Afternoon Tea Tickets or Explorer Passes purchased from unauthorised third parties, including auction sites, are not valid for entry.

    6.2 Print at home. If you selected PRINT AT HOME as your delivery method, the confirmation email will also contain an attachment with your admission tickets, Event Tickets, Afternoon Tea Tickets or Explorer Passes. You must print your admission tickets, Event Tickets, Afternoon Tea Tickets or Explorer Passes out and bring them on your visit. Please note Explorer Passes can only be redeemed by production of your print at home ticket and your identification. If you forget your print at home ticket you must bring along proof of identity to allow staff at the attraction to trace your order.

    6.3 Gift Voucher. When purchasing an Afternoon Tea Gift Voucher, you will receive an email confirmation with your gift voucher(s) attached as an Adobe PDF. This is not your ticket and will not be accepted for entry. Please see section 14.4 regarding booking a date and time for your Edinburgh Castle visit and Afternoon Tea.

  7. Your rights to end the contract

    7.1 Ending the contract because of something we have done or are going to do. If you are ending the contract for a reason set out at 7.1.1 to 7.1.3 below the contract will end immediately and we will refund you in full for any items which have not been provided and you may also be entitled to compensation. The reasons are:

    7.1.1 we have told you about an upcoming change to your order or these terms which you do not agree to (see clause 5);

    7.1.2 we have told you about an error in the price or description of the items you have ordered and you do not wish to proceed; or

    7.1.3 you have a legal right to end the contract because of something we have done wrong.

    7.2 If you end the contract for a reason not listed in clause 7.1 then the contract will end immediately but you will not be entitled to any refund or compensation. 
    7.3 Where the refund in clause 7.1 is in respect of an Explorer Pass, we will only refund you for the days that are unused on your Explorer Pass.
    7.4 How we will refund you. If you are entitled to a refund under these terms we will refund you the price you paid for the tickets, Afternoon Tea tickets, Afternoon Tea gift voucher or Explorer Passes by the method you used for payment. 
    7.5 When we will refund you. We will make any refunds due to you as soon as possible.
  8. Our rights to end the contract
    8.1 We may end the contract if you break it. We may end the contract with you at any time by writing to you if:

    8.1.1 you do not, within a reasonable time of us asking for it, provide us with information that is necessary for us to provide your order; or

    8.1.2 you do not, within a reasonable time collect the admission tickets, Event tickets, Afternoon Tea tickets or Explorer Passes you have purchased from us.

  9. Price and payment

    9.1 Where to find the price for the product. The price of the product (which includes VAT) will be the price indicated on the order pages when you placed your order. We use our best efforts to ensure that the price of the product advised to you is correct. However please see clause 9.6 for what happens if we discover an error in the price of the product you order. Except as otherwise set out in these terms, admission tickets, Event Tickets, Afternoon Tea Tickets, Afternoon Tea Gift Vouchers and Explorer Passes are non-refundable unless clause 5.1 or 7.1 above applies. Admission tickets, Event Tickets, Afternoon Tea Tickets, Afternoon Tea Gift Vouchers and Explorer Passes may not be copied or transferred or resold. No refunds are available due to weather conditions, length of queues or waiting times.  
    9.2 Concessions. Any concession available on a product shall be stated on the Website. Separate terms and conditions may apply. Once an order is placed you cannot apply a concession retrospectively. We reserve the right to refuse to apply a concession if you do not provide sufficient proof of your eligibility for a concession. We reserve the right to charge the applicable full standard admission or event price to any person not able to validate their entitlement to a concession admission or event ticket. For visitors who require a carer, the carer will be admitted free of charge only if you purchase your admission or event ticket at one of our sites.

    9.3 Tickets booked online may not be used in conjunction with any voucher, promotion or special offer.
    9.4 Children under the age of 5. Children under the age of 5 may visit any of our sites and/or attend any of our events for free. However, they may requires an event ticket for some events. Please see clause 3.4.
    9.5 Orders of 11 or more admission tickets. A 10% discount will automatically be applied at checkout when you purchase 11 or more admission tickets.

    9.6 We will pass on changes in the rate of VAT. If the rate of VAT changes between your order date and the date we supply the product, we will adjust the rate of VAT that you pay, unless you have already paid for the product in full before the change in the rate of VAT takes effect.

    9.7 What happens if we got the price wrong. It is always possible that, despite our best efforts, some of the products we sell may be incorrectly priced. We will normally check prices before accepting your order so that, where the product's correct price at your order date is less than our stated price at your order date, we will charge the lower amount. If the product's correct price at your order date is higher than the price stated to you, we will contact you for your instructions before we accept your order. If we accept and process your order where a pricing error is obvious and unmistakeable and could reasonably have been recognised by you as a mispricing, we may end the contract, refund you any sums you have paid and require the return of any goods provided to you.

    9.8 When you must pay and how you must pay. We accept payment with Visa, Mastercard and Visa Electron. You must pay for the admission tickets, Event tickets, Afternoon Tea tickets, Afternoon Tea gift vouchers and/or Explorer Passes in advance. 

    9.9 Our right of set-off if you are a business customer. If you are a business customer you must pay all amounts due to us under these terms in full without any set-off, counterclaim, deduction or withholding (other than any deduction or withholding of tax as required by law).

    9.10 We can charge interest if you pay late. If you do not make any payment to us by the due date we may charge interest to you on the overdue amount at the rate of 4% a year above the base lending rate of Bank of Scotland from time to time. This interest shall accrue on a daily basis from the due date until the date of actual payment of the overdue amount, whether before or after judgment. You must pay us interest together with any overdue amount.

    9.11 What to do if you think an invoice is wrong. If you think an invoice is wrong please contact us promptly to let us know. You will not have to pay any interest until the dispute is resolved. Once the dispute is resolved we will charge you interest on correctly invoiced sums from the original due date.

  10. Our responsibility for loss or damage suffered by you if you are a consumer

    10.1 We are responsible to you for foreseeable loss and damage caused by us. If we fail to comply with these terms, we are responsible for loss or damage you suffer that is a foreseeable result of our breaking this contract or our failing to use reasonable care and skill, but we are not responsible for any loss or damage that is not foreseeable. Loss or damage is foreseeable if either it is obvious that it will happen or if, at the time the contract was made, both we and you knew it might happen, for example, if you discussed it with us during the sales process.

    10.2 We do not exclude or limit in any way our liability to you where it would be unlawful to do so. This includes liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence or the negligence of our employees, agents or subcontractors; for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; for breach of your legal rights in relation to the products.

    10.3 We are not liable for business losses. If you are a consumer we only supply the admission tickets, Event tickets, Afternoon Tea tickets, Afternoon Tea gift vouchers and/or Explorer Passes to you for domestic and private use. If you use the products for any commercial, business or re-sale purpose our liability to you will be limited as set out in clause 11.
  11. Our responsibility for loss or damage suffered by you if you are a business

    11.1 Nothing in these terms shall limit or exclude our liability for:

    11.1.1 death or personal injury caused by our negligence, or the negligence of our employees, agents or subcontractors (as applicable);

    11.1.2 fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; or

    11.1.3 any matter in respect of which it would be unlawful for us to exclude or restrict liability.

    11.2 Subject to clause 11.1:

    11.2.1 we shall not be liable to you, whether in contract, negligence, breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, for any loss of profit, or any indirect or consequential loss arising under or in connection with any contract between us; and

    11.2.2 our total liability to you for all other losses arising under or in connection with any contract between us, whether in contract, negligence, breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, shall be limited to the total sums paid by you for products under such contract.

    11.2.3 We do not accept any liability for the loss of, or damage to, any personal property brought by you into the site.

  12. How we will use your personal information.

    12.1 We will only use your personal information as set out in our Ticketing Privacy Notice.

    12.2 No marketing communications shall be sent to you unless you have selected to receive marketing emails when completing your purchase.

  13. Behaviour at our sites

    Our document “Managing Access to Properties in Care (PiCs)” sets out information on behaviour which is permitted and prohibited at our sites. Full details can be found here: www.historicenvironment.scot/access-to-pics 

  14. Other important terms

    14.1 We may transfer this agreement to someone else. We may transfer our rights and obligations under these terms to another organisation. We will ensure that the transfer will not affect your rights under the contract.

    14.2 You need our consent to transfer your rights to someone else. You may only transfer your rights or your obligations under these terms to another person if we agree to this in writing or you have purchased an Afternoon Tea gift voucher. 

    14.3 Nobody else has any rights under this contract. This contract is between you and us. No other person shall have any rights to enforce any of its terms. Neither of us will need to get the agreement of any other person in order to end the contract or make any changes to these terms.

    14.4 If a court finds part of this contract illegal, the rest will continue in force. Each of the paragraphs of these terms operates separately. If any court or relevant authority decides that any of them are unlawful, the remaining paragraphs will remain in full force and effect.

    14.5 Even if we delay in enforcing this contract, we can still enforce it later. If we do not insist immediately that you do anything you are required to do under these terms, or if we delay in taking steps against you in respect of your breaking this contract, that will not mean that you do not have to do those things and it will not prevent us taking steps against you at a later date. 

    14.6 Which laws apply to this contract and where you may bring legal proceedings if you are a consumer. These terms are governed by Scots law and you can bring legal proceedings in respect of this contract in the Scottish courts. If you live in England or Wales you can bring legal proceedings in respect of this contract in either the Scottish or the English and Welsh courts. If you live in Northern Ireland you can bring legal proceedings in respect of this contract in either the Northern Irish or the Scottish courts.

    14.7 Which laws apply to this contract and where you may bring legal proceedings if you are a business. If you are a business, any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with a contract between us or its subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims) shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of Scotland and the courts of Scotland shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any such dispute or claim.
  15. Afternoon Tea Experiences

    15.1 The Afternoon Tea ticket and the Afternoon Tea gift voucher includes entrance to all attractions within Edinburgh Castle along with a delicious traditional afternoon tea.

    If you have a Membership or Explorer Pass/Scottish Heritage Pass then you should purchase the appropriate Membership or Explorer Pass/Scottish Heritage Pass Afternoon Tea ticket which will include only Afternoon Tea. Entry to Edinburgh Castle will be permitted through your Membership or Explorer Pass/Scottish Heritage Pass.


    15.2 The Afternoon Tea ticket and the Afternoon Tea gift voucher is for one person. Children under the age of 5 years do not require a separate Afternoon Tea ticket or Afternoon Tea gift voucher. If a child under the age of 5 years will be with you please contact our Events Team at edinburghcastleqa@benugo.com to ensure that the table is set appropriately, including high chair(s) if required. 

    15.3 Afternoon teas with Prosecco are only available to 18 year olds and over in order to comply with The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005.

    April - July and September: 11am - 4pm (Sundays from 12.30)
    October - March and August: 11am - 3pm (Sundays from 12.30)


    15.4 Where an Afternoon Tea gift voucher has been purchased, the recipient of the voucher must contact our customer services team to book the date and time they intend to use the voucher. This can be done either by telephoning 0131 668 8095 or by writing to us at ticketing@hes.scot. The recipient will then receive a confirmation email which will contain an attachment with the Afternoon Tea and admission tickets. The recipient must print the tickets and bring them on the date of their visit.

    15.5 When purchasing an Afternoon Tea ticket, the customer will need to select the date and time of their admission to Edinburgh Castle and the time for the Afternoon Tea.

    15.6 Please arrive at the selected time to be seated for your afternoon tea service. Tables will be held for 15 minutes. Late arrivals may incur an additional wait. Should you need to contact us on the date of your booking, please call 0131 226 9443.

    15.7 Any dietary requirements should be notified in advance of your visit to our Events Team at edinburghcastleqa@benugo.com. Whilst every endeavour has been made to ensure menu options displayed online and in print are accurate, afternoon tea menus are season dependent and are open to variation.

    15.8 Cancellation or postponement of entry/Afternoon Tea must be made in writing 5 working days prior to the booking date. Written confirmation should be sent to ticketing@hes.scot. Should notification be provided within this timescale:


    Afternoon Tea gift vouchers will remain valid for future use, within the time frame determined by the date in which the voucher was purchased; and

    Holders of Afternoon Tea tickets will be offered an alternative date to take part in the Afternoon Tea Experience and to attend Edinburgh Castle.

    Except as otherwise set out in these terms, tickets/Afternoon Tea tickets/ Afternoon Tea gift vouchers are non-refundable, and may not be copied or transferred or resold. No refunds are available due to weather conditions, length of queues or waiting times.

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