Montrose Basin

Montrose Basin covers 1,000 hectares and is located on an enclosed estuary of the River South Esk. The reserve has a rich mosaic of saltmarsh, reedbed, mixed agriculture, extensive mudflats and a mix of fresh, brackish and salt water. 

This tidal basin is an important roosting and feeding area for a variety of passage migrants, and is internationally important for breeding eiders and wintering waders and wildfowl, attracting up to 80,000 pink-footed geese in winter.

The centre regularly runs events suitable for all the family.

Eel © David Hay

Why visit?

  • Wintering geese
  • Wildfowl and waders
  • Breeding tern colony
  • Sand martins

Best time to visit?

  • Easter to Oct for activities
  • Apr to Aug for sand martins
  • Oct to Feb for wintering geese
  • Anytime for wildfowl and waders

Visit for:

  • Mammals
  • Scenery
  • Geology
  • Coasts
  • Birdwatching


By road, the reserve can be located on the A92 Montrose to Arbroath road, just 1 mile out of town. The visitor centre is well signposted and free parking is available. There are also frequent train services from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and all intermediate stations to Montrose. Alternatively, you can reach the visitor centre by taking a bus from Montrose town centre to Ferryden (then a short walk), or from Montrose town centre to Arbroath/Dundee with a request to stop at the top of the drive.

Getting onto the reserve

There are several access points onto the reserve. These can be identified by visiting the visitor centre.

Getting round this reserve

The visitor centre is wheelchair accessible.

The visitor centre has restricted opening hours during the winter.

Visitor Centre opening times

1 Mar to 31 Oct: open daily from 10.30am-5pm

1 Nov to 28 Feb: open Fri to Sun from 10.30am-4pm

Closed on 25 & 26 Dec and 1 & 2 Jan

Contact details

T 01674 676 336


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