Montrose Basin

4 Star Wildlife Experience Logo

Montrose Basin is an enclosed estuary of the river South Esk covering 750 hectares, home to over 80,000 migratory birds – including pink-footed geese, Arctic terns, knots and sedge warblers. Our four-star visitor centre offers a great day out for all the family in Angus.


Please note the Montrose Basin Visitor Centre is currently on reduced opening hours. We are open Thursday-Monday. Please see our timeslots in the booking system below.

Click on a heading below to find out more about visiting Montrose Basin.

Our visitor centre currently has a timeslot booking system in place. (The walks around the reserve remain open and free of charge, and take place from other car parks around the Basin)

Information we collect from visitors to the Trust, via our booking systems, will also be used to support the NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect service and we will disclose relevant personal information to the service if requested up to 21 days following your visit. For more details, please click here.

Any questions? If you have a question about your ticket or would like information on moving timeslots/refunds, please email

Highlights include:

  • Telescopes and binoculars set up and ready to use
  • Interpretation about the wildlife, geology and history of the Basin
  • Fairtrade tea and coffee available – relax with panoramic views across the Basin
  • Range of wildlife gifts available from our gift shop

What’s open?
The visitor centre, hides, and walks are all open. The visitor centre is the only place on the reserve that has a pre-booked timeslot system. It is open Thursday-Monday. The reserve walks and hides are always open, but please be aware that they take place from other car parks around the Basin.

We’re Good to Go
“We’re Good To Go” is the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

Can I bring my dog?
Dogs, kept under control, are allowed on all the walks around Montrose Basin but not inside the visitor centre itself (unless they are assistance dogs).

Please make sure you’re following the latest Scottish Government COVID-19 guidelines before planning your visit.

This visitor attraction has decided to maintain mitigation measures, including managing capacities and visitor flow, use of hand sanitation stations and enhanced cleaning protocols, until otherwise announced, in accordance with industry best practice and guidance endorsed by the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions.

In line with Scottish Government guidelines to keep you and our staff and volunteers safe, the visitor centre now has pre-booked timed entry, enhanced cleaning, screens, hand sanitising stations, and social distancing and face covering policies.

Whether you live in Scotland or you’re just visiting, please download the ‘Check In Scotland’ app from Google Play or the Apple app store before you visit. This will speed up our Test and Protect procedure.

To allow time for cleaning, the visitor centre now closes for an hour at lunch time, so please make note of the timeslots in our booking section.

We want you to have a safe and enjoyable visit to our centre. Watch our virtual walk through here to see what to expect on your visit.

Why visit?

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
  • Any time for wildfowl and waders

Visit for:

  • birdwatching
  • coasts
  • geology
  • scenery
  • mammals

Other information

Join today and help support our conservation work, with free access to all our visitor centres and around 120 reserves. Your support will protect Scotland’s Wildlife for the Future. Join in the centre, and you’ll receive a free gift!


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

Montrose Basin Visitor Centre is open Thursday-Monday, from 10:30am - 5pm. We now have a timeslot system. Book ahead online to avoid disappointment.


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

Show more posts

Visit the blog  

Awaiting The Geese

Awaiting The GeeseMontrose Basin has now entered that unclear divide between seasons: the swifts have already departed for Africa, and our common terns are definitely gathering together in preparation for their journey south. But one of our favourite Summer visitors is the osprey, and we’re still seeing them fishing for flatfish on the Basin every day from the visitor centre. Autumn came into our minds earlier than usual this year as hundreds of Canada and greylag geese began appearing on the Basin…

What fledgling am I seeing in my garden?

What fledgling am I seeing in my garden?Summer is officially here, and for the past few weeks we’ve been enjoying seeing a whole variety of recently fledged birds around the visitor centre. So many, in fact, that we’ve been keeping a list! Juvenile birds cause a lot of confusion at this time of year. They often look very different to their adult counterparts, sometimes even sporting different colours, patterns, and bird calls. We’ve found that visitors are sometimes perplexed by fledgling birds looking, if anything, bigger than…


About Montrose Basin

Stay up to date with the Scottish Wildlife Trust by subscribing to our mailing list Subscribe now

Back to top