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 tickets, explorer passes and vouchers for afternoon tea to you through our websites (each a "Website").

    1.2 Why you should read them. Please read these terms carefully before you submit your order to us. These terms tell you who we are, how we will provide tickets, passes or vouchers 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.

    You can purchase tickets and vouchers for afternoon tea at Edinburgh Castle at https://tickets.historic-scotland.gov.uk/webstore/landingPage?CG=TKTS&C=GA Please note that additional information with regard to explorer passes can be found here 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 www.edinburghcastle.scot/see-and-do/eat/the-tea-rooms.

    Please find our "frequently asked questions" here www.historicenvironment.scot/visitor-faqs

    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

    You are ordering from us wholly or mainly for your personal use (not for use in connection with your trade, business, craft or profession).

    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.

    1.4  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 order. 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 based on any statement in these terms.

  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 8831 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. How we may contact you. If we seek to contact you to inform you of an urgent closure notification (as per clause 10), we will do so by SMS text message (where you have provided us with a valid mobile phone number). If we have to contact you for any other reason, 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. Should any SMS text message, sent to you regarding an urgent closure notification, incur a charge from your mobile phone provider, HES is not responsible for this cost and this will not be refundable.

    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 How to place your order. You can place your order through our Website. Upon selecting the attractions and/or events you wish to attend you will be guided through the process of placing an order.

    3.2 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. It is your responsibility to check your order throughout the online purchase process as mistakes cannot always be rectified (please see clause 8 below).

    3.3 If we cannot accept your order. If we are unable to accept your order, we will inform you of this and will not charge you for your order.

    3.4 Your order number. We will assign an order number to your order and tell you what it is when we accept your order. You must use this order number when collecting tickets/passes and/or collecting a proof of purchase ticket (for souvenir and audio guides) from the admissions area of the site you are visiting.

    3.5 Website information. 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. Any description given on the Website is for information only and does not constitute a sale by description.

    3.6 Lost or unused tickets, passes or vouchers. We accept no liability for lost tickets, passes or vouchers and, except as otherwise stated in these terms, do not provide refunds for unused tickets, passes or vouchers.

    3.7 Special offers. Unless we have otherwise stated in writing, you cannot combine any ticket, pass or voucher with any special offer.

    3.8 Prohibition on re-selling tickets, passes or vouchers. Copying, transferring or re-selling your tickets, passes or vouchers is strictly prohibited.

    3.9 Refunds. If you are entitled to a refund under these terms we will refund you the price you paid for your order by the method you used for payment. We will make any refunds due to you as soon as possible. Except as otherwise stated in these terms, any amount paid for an order is non-refundable. No refunds are available due to poor weather conditions (unless a site is closed as a consequence, please see clause 10.2) or length of queues or waiting times.

    3.10 Entry. We reserve the right to refuse entry to any of our sites or events where we reasonably believe your admittance (or admitting any of your party) could endanger another visitor or our staff or you (or any of your party) intend to perform a commercial activity (such as commercial filming) you are not permitted to do. Where we refuse entry to you or your party you will not be entitled to any refund. Please see our 'Managing Access to Properties in Care' document and our Unacceptable Actions Policy for more information on our policies for general behaviour at our sites and unacceptable actions towards our staff.

  4. General admission tickets


    4.1 What is included. A general admission ticket includes entrance to the site and a guided tour unless stated otherwise. Entry to our sites out-with your booked time slot cannot be guaranteed. General admission tickets are valid for one day admission. For visitors who require a carer, the carer will be admitted free of charge only if you purchase your admission ticket at one of our sites. Children under the age of 7 may visit any of our sites and/or attend any of our events for free.

    4.2 Age restrictions. Children age 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult (aged 16 or above) as follows:
    4.2.1 Under the age of 5: 1 adult for every 2 children
    4.2.2 Age 5-7: 1 adult for every 6 children
    4.2.3 Age 8-16: 1 adult for every 10 children

    4.3 Special offers. HES may from time to time have special offers on general admission tickets. For further information, as well as the terms and conditions of such special offers, please see clause 19).

  5. Event tickets 
    5.1 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 7. You will be directed to obtain event tickets for attendees of all ages during the booking process.

    5.2 Entry to some of our 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.

    5.3 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.

    5.4 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 in such circumstances.

  6. Afternoon tea gift vouchers 
    6.1 An afternoon tea ticket is valid only on the specified date. 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. No voucher or ticket is required for children under the age of 7 years.

    6.2 The afternoon tea ticket and the afternoon tea gift voucher includes entrance to all attractions within Edinburgh Castle.

    6.3 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.

    6.4 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 8831 or by emailing 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 show the tickets on a mobile device or print the tickets and bring them on the date of their visit. 

    6.5 If a child under the age of 7 will be with your party please contact us at edinburghcastleqa@benugo.com so we may ensure your table is set up appropriately. Please note that children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The ratios stated in clause 4.2 above also apply in respect of admission to afternoon tea.

    6.6 We will only hold tables for 15 minutes beyond your selected time. If you arrive late you may have to wait an additional period to be seated.

    6.7 Please contact us at edinburghcastleqa@benugo.com in advance of your visit to advise us of any dietary requirements.

  7. Explorer passes

    7.1 An explorer pass is valid for 7 consecutive days following activation on your first site visit. During the validity of the explorer pass you can visit as many of our open properties as you wish at no additional entry cost. Multiple sites may be visited in any one day and only one visit per site is permitted. The explorer pass does not guarantee you with immediate entry to any given site and access to some sites may be subject to availability.

    7.2 For a list of sites which you can visit with an explorer pass and opening times, please consult www.historicenvironment.scot/history-awaits. Please note that our sites can close at short notice and opening times are subject to change.

    7.3 Explorer passes do not provide admission to properties in the care of The National Trust for Scotland, members of the Historic Houses Association, the Palace of Holyroodhouse or those in care of private trusts. Holyrood Abbey is in our care, but to visit the Abbey you must pay the entrance fee to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

    7.4 Please note that children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The ratios stated in clause 4.2 above also apply in respect of explorer passes.
  8. Your rights to make changes 
    8.1 If you wish to make a change to your order please contact us within 7 working days from the date the order was placed. 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.

    8.2 You cannot end the contract between us unless otherwise stated in these terms.

  9. Our rights to make changes 

    We may make changes to these terms, but if we do so we will notify you and you may then contact us to end the contract before the changes take effect and receive a refund (where appropriate).
  10. Site closures 

    10.1 We may have to close an attraction at short notice. Any closures will be notified on the HES website.

    10.2 Where you have purchased an admission ticket to one of our sites for a specific date, in the event of an unexpected closure or cancellation we will email you to inform you of the closure or cancellation and that you will receive a full refund to the card used to purchase your admission tickets. We may also send an SMS text message (if you have provided us with a valid mobile phone number). If you do not receive a refund from us and you are entitled to a refund, please contact us at refunds@hes.scot

    10.3 Where you have purchased an event ticket for a specific date, in the event of an unexpected closure or cancellation we will contact you by email to inform you of the closure or cancellation and offer you either (i) a full refund to the card used to purchase your event tickets; or (ii) an event ticket for an alternative date. We may also send an SMS text message (if you have provided us with a valid mobile phone number).

    10.4 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 where we have taken the steps set out in clause 10.2 and/or clause 10.3. This includes any SMS text message, sent to regarding an urgent closure notification, which may incur a charge from your mobile phone provider. HES is not responsible for this cost and this will not be refundable.

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

    11.1 Collection by you. You can only collect your tickets and passes on site from a ticket machine on site or admissions area at the site you are visiting by using your order number. If you forget your ticket or have problems collecting tickets from our ticket machines, you must bring along proof of identity to allow staff onsite to trace your order.

    11.2 Print at Home/Mobile or eTicket. Print at Home/Mobile or eTicket. 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 placing your order, only be offered “Print at Home/Mobile” or “eTicket” as a delivery option. If you selected “Print at Home/Mobile” or “eTicket” 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 and bring them on your visit. You can also show your admission tickets, event tickets, afternoon tea tickets and gift vouchers or explorer passes on your mobile device. Please note explorer passes can only be redeemed by production of your “Print at Home/Mobile” or “eTicket” and your identification. If you forget your “Print at Home/Mobile” or “eTicket” you must bring along proof of identity to allow staff at the attraction to trace your order.
  12. Your rights to end the contract

    12.1 Ending the contract because of something we have done or are going to do. If you are ending a contract for a reason set out at 12.1.1 to 12.1.3 below the contract will end immediately and we will refund you in full for any unused tickets, unused vouchers or days on an explorer pass which have not been used. The reasons are:

    12.1.1 we have told you about an upcoming change to your order or these terms which you do not agree to (see clause 9 and clause 10);

    12.1.2 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

    12.1.3 you have a legal right to end the contract because of something we have done wrong.
  13. Our rights to end the contract 

    13.1 We may end the contract if you break it. We may end the contract with you at any time by writing to you if:

    13.1.1 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

    13.1.2 you do not, within a reasonable time collect the tickets or passes you have purchased from us. 
  14. Price and payment

    14.1 Where to find the price. The price of the ticket, voucher or pass (which includes VAT) will be the price indicated on the order pages when you placed your order. We take all reasonable care to ensure that the price of the ticket, voucher or pass advised to you is correct. However please see clause 14.4 for what happens if we discover an error in the price of the ticket, voucher or pass you order.
      
    14.2 Concessions. Any concession available on an order 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 ticket or event ticket.

    14.3 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 ticket, voucher or pass we will adjust the rate of VAT that you pay, unless you have already paid for the ticket, voucher or pass in full before the change in the rate of VAT takes effect.

    14.4 What happens if we got the price wrong. It is always possible that, despite our best efforts, some of the tickets, vouchers or passes we sell may be incorrectly priced. We will normally check prices before accepting your order so that, where the correct price at your order date is less than our stated price at your order date, we will charge the lower amount. If the 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 and refund you any sums you have paid.

    14.5 How you can pay. We accept payment with Visa, Visa Debit, Mastercard and American Express. You must pay for your order at the time of placing the order.

    14.6 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).

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

    15.1 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.

    15.2 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 or for breach of your legal rights in relation to your order.

    15.3 We are not liable for business losses. We only supply tickets, passes and vouchers for your personal use. If you use tickets, passes or vouchers for any commercial, business or re-sale purpose our liability to you will be limited as set out in clause 16.
  16. Our responsibility for loss or damage suffered by you if you are a business

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

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

    16.1.2 fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; or

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

    16.2 All terms implied by sections 13 to 15 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and sections 3 to 5 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 are excluded.

    16.3 Subject to clause 11.1:

    16.3.1 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

    16.3.2 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.

    16.3.3 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 sum paid for the order which the liability relates to.

  17. How we may use your personal information.

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

  18. Other important terms

    18.1 We may transfer this agreement to someone else. We may transfer our rights and obligations under these terms to another organisation. We will always tell you in writing if this happens and we will ensure that the transfer will not affect your rights under the contract.

    18.2 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.

    18.3 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.

    18.4 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.

    18.5 Even if we delay 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.

    18.6 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. If you do not live in the UK you may be entitled to bring legal proceedings in respect of this contract in your local courts.

    18.7 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.

  19. Special Offer

    19.1 What these terms cover. These are the additional terms and conditions which apply to special offers on general admission tickets from time to time. Save as varied by these additional terms in respect of a special offer, our standard terms and conditions relating to admission tickets, event tickets, afternoon tea tickets and gift vouchers and explorer passes apply.

    19.2 Why you should read them. Please read these additional terms carefully, together with our standard ticket terms and conditions, before you submit your order to us. 

    19.3 Special offers. Details of any special offers are set out below. Special offers may not be combined with any other special offer unless the terms specifically permit this.

  20. "Historic Sundays" Special Offer

    20.1 Period of availability. The “Historic Sunday” special offer will be available for the period from 1 October 2023 until 3 March 2024 (inclusive).

    20.2 “Free Sunday” ticket offer. On the first Sunday of every month during the “Historic Sunday” special offer, all residents of Scotland will be given free entry to HES sites across Scotland. This special offer is subject to the following restrictions:-

    20.2.1 The offer is only open to Scottish postcode holders. Valid proof of address will be required.

    20.2.2 A limited number of special offer tickets will be made available for booking for each “Free Sunday”. This special offer is only available until the allocation of tickets per “Free Sunday” has been used.

    20.2.3 Each special offer ticket is a general admission ticket to a single HES site, subject to our standard visiting hours and subject to any long or short term closures (as per our standard admission ticket terms and conditions).

    20.2.4 Special offer tickets are only valid for the date and the HES site (chosen by you during the ordering process) stated on the ticket. If your chosen HES site closes on one of the “Free Sundays”, your special offer ticket will not be valid for any other date or any other HES site.

    20.2.5 Special offer tickets must be booked online in advance to guarantee entry.

    20.2.6 If you miss your chosen time slot on the date of your visit, your entry to the HES site cannot be guaranteed.

    20.2.7 Unused special offer tickets cannot be exchanged for any other visit date and there is no cash alternative.

    20.2.8 A maximum of 2 adults and 6 children can be booked per transaction.

    20.2.9 Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied by an adult, aged 16 years or over.

    20.2.10 This special offer may not be used in conjunction with any other offer.

    20.2.11 Tickets cannot be copied, transferred, or resold. Photocopies of tickets will not be accepted. “Print at Home” and eTickets must be presented at the entrance point.

    20.3 This special offer is subject to change. 

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