Montrose Basin

Important notice

In line with Scottish Government guidance our visitor centre, hides and car park are closed until further notice.

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.

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

Visiting safely

A range of new measures have been put in place in the Montrose Basin Visitor Centre in line with Scottish Government guidelines to keep you and our staff and volunteers safe. This includes pre-booked timed entry, enhanced cleaning, sneeze screens and hand sanitising stations. Please do not visit if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Coronavirus. The visitor centre closes for an hour at lunch time, so please make a note of the timeslots during which you can visit in our Book a Ticket section below.

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

During your visit, we ask you to please:

  • Keep your distance from others (at least 2m)
  • Wear a face covering in hides and the visitor centre
  • Use the hand sanitising stations provided
  • Wash your hands often
  • Pay by contactless wherever possible

Please note: our new pre-booked timeslot system is for the visitor centre only. The walks around the reserve remain open as normal. There is no charge for accessing the reserve walks, but please be aware that they start from other car parks around the Basin.

Book your ticket

Your privacy

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

Planning your visit

Please check ahead to make sure the centre is open. It may be subject to temporary closure should a local lockdown be required. If this occurs and you have pre-booked you will be notified and refunded. Please note that we are open Friday – Monday only.

Festive opening hours

Up until Monday 21 December, the visitor centre will be operating its usual opening hours (Friday-Monday, 10:30am-4pm). As Scotland is going into tier 4 from Boxing Day, the visitor centre will be closed after this date.

What’s open?

Our visitor centre has reopened, and all the hides at Montrose Basin are open too. The visitor centre is the only place on the reserve that has a pre-booked timeslot system. The reserve walks and hides are always open, but please be aware that they take place from other car parks around the Basin.

Food and drink

Hot drinks and snacks are available. Visitors are also welcome to bring their own food.


The centre shop will be open, accepting contactless card payments wherever possible. In line with Scottish Government guidelines, face coverings must be worn at all times.
Scottish Wildlife Trust Members receive a 10% discount on all shop purchases.

Scottish Wildlife Trust Membership

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. By joining in our visitor centre, you’ll receive a free gift!

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs, if kept under control, are allowed on all the walks around the Montrose Basin but not inside the visitor centre itself (unless they are assistance dogs).

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.

Why visit?

Highlights include:

  • Telescopes and binoculars set up and ready to use
  • Regular wildlife events – guided walks, children’s activities (please see our events programme)
  • Formal and informal education programmes available for booking for school groups all year round
  • Fairtrade tea and coffee available – relax with panoramic views across the Basin
  • Range of wildlife gifts available from our gift shop

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

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.


Our event schedule is currently suspended due to Covid-19.

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 the 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 (although on-the-door bookings are possible if we have space).


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

01674 676 336


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