Montrose Basin

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Montrose Basin is an enclosed estuary of the river South Esk covering 750 hectares of tidal mudflats offering feeding and roosting ground to a plethora of bird species.

In autumn and winter, the Basin is home to over 100,000 migratory birds including pink-footed geese, wigeon and a variety of other waterfowl and waders, while during the spring and summer months the estuary supports various breeding colonies including sand martins, common terns and eider.

Our four-star visitor centre offers a great day out for all the family in Angus.

Members receive free entry and fast-track access. Non-members can buy tickets on the door or pre-book by clicking the button below.

Buy tickets

Join today to get free access to all our visitor centres and help protect Scotland’s wildlife for the future.

The visitor centre is now open daily, 10:30am-5pm. Please note the visitor centre may close from 1pm to 1:30pm for lunch. All walks and hides around the Basin remain open at all times, but these start from different car parks. There are no walks that take place from the visitor centre car park.

Please note that dogs are allowed on the reserve walks, but not inside the visitor centre itself.

Why visit?

The Montrose Basin Visitor Centre offers panoramic views across the reserve. Telescopes and binoculars will be available for you to see the wildlife up close.

We serve hot drinks, and we have a small wildlife-themed gift shop with a variety of products for all ages.

A range of children’s activities are always available in the centre.

Best time to visit?

  • May to Sept for fishing osprey
  • Oct to Feb for wintering geese
  • Sept to Feb for kingfisher
  • Any time for seals, wildfowl and waders

Visit for:

  • birdwatching
  • coasts
  • geology
  • scenery
  • mammals

Other information



Please keep an eye on the events page or our Facebook page for upcoming events.

Discover the Basin with one of our self-guided audio tours

If you would like to learn more about the Basin, our audio tours are a great place to start. Choose from four tours available through izi.TRAVEL. These tours can be accessed online or through the izi.TRAVEL mobile app available for iPhone and Android.

Take an audio tour


Hover for more information


How to get there


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.

Get directions

Getting onto the reserve

There are several access points onto the reserve. The walks do not start from the visitor centre car park due to the tidal nature and size of the reserve. A map can be collected from the visitor centre during its opening hours, or you can follow this link.

Access restrictions

The visitor centre is wheelchair accessible.

The visitor centre has restricted opening hours during the winter.

For a full access guide, click here. Please note this access guide was written pre-COVID-19.

Nearest town
Montrose (1 mi / 1.6 km)
OS grid ref
Landranger map


Montrose Basin visitor centre

Opening times

Mid-February to 31st October: open 7 days a week, 10:30am-5pm
1st-November to Mid-February: open Friday-Monday, 10:30am-4pm


Adults: £4.50
Concession: £4.00
Members: FREE
Children (under 16 years): FREE

Address: Montrose Basin, Rossie Braes, Angus DD10 9TA

01674 676 336


Get the latest from the Montrose Basin visitor centre

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Montrose Basin Fledglings

Montrose Basin FledglingsAt 5:46pm on 23 May, Loch of the Lowes welcomed their third and final osprey hatchling of the season. Whilst we may not have these spectacular pescatarian raptors nesting on the reserve, we are privileged to be able to witness the fledging of our own feathered friends right here at Montrose Basin. Here are a few species you can expect to see in the coming weeks… Our first to fledge of 2022 has been a Blackbird (Turdus merula) family. We…

Why have we not seen as many kingfishers this winter?

Why have we not seen as many kingfishers this winter?Regular visitors to Montrose basin and its visitor centre will be aware that winter is usually an incredible time for spotting kingfishers on the reserve. The famous ‘kingfisher perch’ in front of the centre’s windows has, in the past, been a reliable part of a resident kingfisher’s daily routine. It wasn’t unusual for visitors to Montrose Basin to be guarantees an amazing view of our kingfisher, if visiting at the right time of year. The winter of 2021/22 has strayed…

Montrose Basin


If you are interested in organising an educational visit to Montrose Basin, please contact the visitor centre on 01674 676 336 or for more information.


About Montrose Basin

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