Cookies and you
When we provide online services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. This sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as “cookies”. They cannot be used to identify you personally.
What are cookies?
These pieces of information are used to improve online services for you through, for example:
- Enabling a service to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during one task
- Recognising that you may already have been given a username and password so you don't need to do it for every web page requested
- Measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and to ensure there is enough capacity for a fast service
- Analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with us so we can make them better
Some cookies are essential for the correct working of particular services requested by you, for example, the shopping basket and checkout on our online retail shopping site(s). When you place an order with us on our online retail shopping site(s), certain cookies are required for your transaction to go through and your order to be registered.
We have relationships with other suppliers and partners which are selected very carefully and constantly monitored. These suppliers and partners may set their own cookies during your visit to show you different products or services based on what you seem to be looking for.
First party cookies (cookies set by us)
Cookies set by “VisitBritain”/”VisitEngland’s web domains are known as 'first-party' cookies. Some are necessary to the functionality of the sites, others provide information to us that we analyse to monitor and improve the sites. Our cookies do not store details such as your name, address, telephone number, payment information or anything else that make you personally identifiable to us. Typically, the cookies set by us generate a random, unique number to store information about a user The cookies are simply used to record the areas of a site that you visit and for how long. This helps us to monitor the usability of our website and to improve its quality. If you would like to block, restrict or delete cookies from our sites, you can use your browser to do so. Each browser is different, so you may need to refer to the 'Help' section of your browser to find out how to alter your cookie preferences.
How to manage cookies
If you want to disable cookies in your browser, you can set your browser accordingly, using its menu bar. You should be aware that, if cookies aren’t enabled on your computer, we are unable to personalise and improve our service to you.
You can find out more about opting out of cookies and safeguarding your online experience by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative website (please note that we are not responsible for the content of external websites).
When you visit our websites you may notice some cookies that are not related to us. When you visit one of our pages containing embedded content, such as a video hosted on YouTube, you may be sent cookies from these third party websites. We have no control over the setting of these cookies set by third parties. If cookies concern you, it’s best to check the third-party websites for more information about their cookies and how to manage them.
Where are we using cookies?
We are using cookies for the following purposes:
1. Language Preference: We store the language selected by the user when they visit our home page. This means that when the user visits the site again, we can display the preferred site in the correct language and currency. This information is stored for 364 days. If the user does not visit our home page, the site they view is determined by geo targeting.
2. Recent Pages or Items viewed: This cookie stores details of recently viewed pages or products viewed and is stored for 370 days. (Retail shop only)
3. ASP.Net Session Id: This contains shopping cart and session data and is stored for the duration of a customer’s visit to a shop. It is essential for the correct working of the shopping basket and checkout. (Retail shop only)
The following third-party plugins and scripts that set data in cookies are embedded in our site, meaning we are responsible if they are stored without the user’s consent.
1. Google Analytics (_utma, _utmb, _utmc and _utmz cookies): Google Analytics cookies are stored as part of our site’s cookies, as first party cookies. They enable the function of our analytics software. This software helps us analyse information such as visitor numbers, pages viewed on our shop and response to marketing activity. We use Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting to get an idea of our demographics and users’ interests. We use this data to develop the site and content around our users’ interests, improve the website and your shopping experience. You can opt-out of Google Analytics for Display Advertising and customize Google Display Network ads using the Ads Settings. In addition, you can use the Google Analytics Opt-Out Browser Add-on to disable tracking by Google Analytics.
2. Add This (addthis.com): This provides sharing APIs for Facebook, Twitter etc to drive social traffic.
3. MS CONV and MSANALYTICS (Bing) and Adwords Conversion (Google): These third party cookies allow us to identify which of our advertisements you have clicked on. Each individual advertiser uses its own tracking cookies and the data taken is not confidential or interchangeable.
4. Google remarketing: These cookies are written by Google for the purpose of serving ads to users who have previously visited our site as they browse other websites on the internet. Opt out of customized Google Display Network ads.
Our feedback facilities provided by Hotjar will store cookies on your browser. This is needed to display the correct content and these cookies will expire automatically after 365 days.