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.


From November 1st, the Montrose Basin Visitor Centre will be on its winter hours: open Friday-Monday, 10:30am-4pm. 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.

The visitor centre no longer has a timeslot system. We will now be accepting on-the-door admissions as usual. We are working on a new and improved optional online booking system for the new year.

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.

Please make sure you’re following the latest Scottish Government COVID-19 guidelines before planning your visit. This includes the recommendation to ‘Flow Before You Go‘ – please consider taking a lateral flow test before visiting.

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.

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
  • 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

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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This Year’s Pink-Footed Geese In Review

This Year’s Pink-Footed Geese In ReviewAutumn at Montrose Basin is always an exciting thing to experience. Wading birds return to the reserve after breeding season, kingfisher sightings increase, and by the end of September, the Basin becomes home to tens of thousands of pink-footed geese. Pink-footed geese migrate from Iceland and Greenland to Scotland in early to mid September, and by the middle of October, Montrose Basin can hold over 10% of the entire Icelandic population at one time! They roost on the reserve every…

Working At Montrose Basin

Working At Montrose BasinOnly a few months ago, I became an employee for the Scottish Wildlife Trust here at Montrose Basin Visitor Centre. I am on a six-month placement Kickstart scheme until December.  Within this post, I would like to recap on my time here at the Basin so far and my most memorable moments. For my first memorable moment, I want to talk about my first working day here, as we had a very interesting visitor fly into the centre. A juvenile…

Montrose Basin


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


About Montrose Basin

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