Cookie Policy

Update cookie preferences

Find out what cookies are and how they are used on our ScotlandsPlaces website.

Like many websites, (the Service) use small files called cookies to help provide the best possible online experience for you.

Below, we explain what cookies are, what they do, how we use them, and how you can view or change your cookie preferences.


Who are we?

The ScotlandsPlaces 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.

We are committed to protecting your personal data and your privacy. Find out more about how we handle personal data in our privacy notice.


What are cookies?

Cookies are small pieces of text sent by your web browser on a website you visit. A cookie file is stored in your web browser and allows the Service or a third-party to recognise you.

Cookies can be either "persistent" or "session" based.

  • Persistent cookies continue to exist after you finish your website visit. They are eventually deleted, often after 6 months or longer. They are used to help the Service recognise when you return to the site; these cookies will remember key information about you, such as your site preferences.

  • Session cookies are deleted automatically soon after you finish your website visit, usually within 30 minutes. They are used to help the Service remember the status of your current visit, for example, a session ID might be stored to ensure you remain logged in.

You can remove cookies from your device at any time, and your device will automatically delete expired cookies.

First-party cookies entail a small text file that is stored on your computer when you visit a specific domain (website) and which cannot be shared with others. These cookies are set directly by the Service and only the Service can read them.

Cookies that do not originate from the Service are called ‘Third Party’ cookies.

Such cookies are set by other digital services and are accessible by those services only. For example, if a webpage contains an embedded YouTube video, YouTube will set its own cookies to enable the video to work properly.

Some cookies are set by services for advertising purposes. For example, an advertising platform may set a cookie that recognises the online journey a user has taken across different websites. The advertising partner may set or read the cookies on other websites/services and link the users’ activity on this Service. Third-party cookies are not set by the Service itself.


How we use cookies

We categorise cookies based on how they are used; this section will help you make broad choices about which cookies you set.


Essential cookies

These cookies let you use all the different yet essential parts of the Service. Without them, the Service cannot be provided. Therefore, they are sometimes called “strictly necessary” cookies.

For example, we use essential cookies to:

  • remember your preferences (for example, whether you have given your consent for cookies to be set)

  • remember security settings that affect access to certain content, for example, whether you are logged in, or for enabling consistent access to our web servers.

  • enable certain essential services you need, such as a shopping cart


Performance cookies

These cookies help us ensure the website is working properly and they highlight when we need to fix issues or improve experiences.

While we do not collect data directly about each user’s age, gender, or interests, we use Google Signals to receive anonymised data that groups and summarises information about the users who visit our Services. This includes the categorisation of users’ ages, genders, and interests, which provides more context to our performance data.

Any performance cookies we use only collects anonymised data to protect your identity, so we cannot identify any individuals from this data. We do not collect any data on sex, political or religious beliefs, nationality, or postcodes through cookies.

You can manage what data Google stores about you, and whether it can collect or share that data at


The cookies we set

Essential cookies

Name Data stored Purpose Expires
.CookiePreferences A string for each preference set This cookie is used to store information about a visitor's cookie preference settings. 364 Days
has_js Boolean value This cookie is used to store whether your browser allows JavaScript to run. This expires at the end of your session.



Drupal Privacy Notice

Name Data stored Purpose Expires
Session data This cookie is used to remember users that are logged into the system. 23 days



Name Data stored Purpose Expires
PHPSESSID Unique identifier This cookie stores a unique session ID for each user to help maintain the state between page requests. This expires at the end of your session.


Performance cookies

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. We also do not allow Google to share our analytics data.

Google’s privacy policy

Name Data stored Purpose Expires
_ga Browser ID This cookie is used to collect information about how you use this website. 399 Days
_gid User ID This cookie is used to distinguish users 23 hours
_ga_JZLHXPT53H User ID This cookie is used to persist session state which means remembering data about the user. 399 Days


As we use Google Signals, there are some related third-party cookies that may be set, depending on if you have consented to be tracked by Google.

Name Data stored Purpose Expires
IDE User ID This cookie is used to store your advertising preferences from Google After 390 days
CONSENT User ID and consent record This cookie stores data that shows whether or not you have given consent to Google advertising to track you – this should prevent you being tracked by Google if you have not consented. After 400 days
NID User preference This cookie is used to show Google ads in Google services for signed out users. Used to remember your preferences and other information, such as your preferred language. After 180 days


On the website, we only use Performance cookies after you have given your consent.

You can do this by selecting your preferences in the cookie banner or below. 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 within your browser, 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.