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Montrose is a small port in Angus, Northeast Scotland, midway between Dundee and Aberdeen. It was an important harbour in medieval and Hanseatic times and contributed to Britain's sea and air defence in 20th-century wartime. It's industrial, with the pharmaceutical firm GSK being a major employer, and in 2020 had a population of almost 12,000.

Get in[edit]

The Basin seen from the train

Aberdeen (ABZ IATA) has a good choice of UK and European flights. Edinburgh (EDI IATA) is further but has more choice, and with a rental car you exit straight onto the road north and can reach Montrose in little over two hours. Dundee (DND IATA) is the closest airport but has few flights.

Trains run from Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street via Dundee and Arbroath every 30 min to Montrose, and continue north to Stonehaven and Aberdeen. The Caledonian Sleeper from London Euston also sets down here around 7AM, with the southbound train picking up towards 10:30PM.

This railway line was closed for 12 weeks following a landslide and serious rail accident near Stonehaven in 2020.

The 1 railway station is east side of town centre, with a nice view of the Basin as the train pulls in.

Stagecoach Bus X7 runs along the coast from Perth via Dundee and Arbroath to Montrose, continuing to Stonehaven and Aberdeen. It runs hourly, daily. There isn't a bus station, just stops on High St and elsewhere. Buses from Edinburgh, Glasgow and England fly past on A90 and don't serve Montrose, you need to change at Dundee.

Montrose is 30 miles northeast of Dundee on A92. The Dundee-Aberdeen road A90 sweeps several miles inland past Brechin.

Get around[edit]

Map of Montrose (Scotland)

Stagecoach Bus 30 runs from Arbroath to Montrose, then north of the Basin past the entrance to House of Dun to Brechin and Strathcathro Hospital; a few continue to Edzell. It runs hourly M-Sa and every two hours on Sunday.


Edzell Castle
  • Montrose Museum, Panmure Place DD10 8HF, +44 1674 907447. Local history museum and art gallery in a neo-classical 1842 building. Free.
  • Old and St Andrews Church on High St is Church of Scotland. It opened in 1793, and the steeple was added in 1834.
  • Bamse stands guard at the bridge entering town. Why was a movie never made about this dog, whose wartime exploits with the Free Norwegian Forces far surpass the deeds of Black Bob, Greyfriars Bobby and Rin-Tin-Tin combined? A huge St Bernard, Bamse (which means "teddy-bear") was an official crew member of Thorodd, a whaler drafted into wartime use which escaped to Britain in 1940 when Norway surrendered to Germany. The ship then served as a minesweeper working out of Montrose and Dundee, with Bamse its most diligent Shore Patrol, breaking up fights, travelling unescorted on the buses to round up crew members from outlying pubs, rescuing people from the water, and repelling a knife-wielding assailant. He became the symbol of Norwegian resistance and it's probably only because of military secrecy that we've yet to hear of his role in defusing UXBs, unmasking spies, cracking ciphers and piddling on quislings. Bamse died aged 7 in 1944 and was buried with full military honours and crowds of well-wishers lining the cortege route.
  • William Lamb Studio is on Market St. Lamb (1893-1951) was a sculptor, briefly famous (he sculpted the young Princess Elizabeth), but he was scarred by World War I and became a recluse in Montrose. The studio is open by appointment or for special events (Nov 2023).
  • 1 Air Station Heritage Centre, Waldron Rd DD10 9BD, +44 1674 678222. W Sa 10AM-4PM. This was a military airbase from 1914, among the first in Britain. It was set up in 1913 in Dysart a few miles south, but that site was foggy and boggy so it was re-located here. In World War II it was a training base for overseas pilots, and RAF sorties to Norway flew from Montrose. But there was little new building or war damage in those years, so it's a rare survival of a pre-World War I airbase. The Spitfire is just a replica, it was string-and-paper SE5A/B biplanes in that era. Adult £6.
  • 2 Montrose Basin is the tidal lagoon formed by the estuary of the South Esk, west side of town. It's almost 3 miles in diameter, ringed by salt marshes, and an important habitat for resident and migratory birds.
    • 3 Montrose Basin Visitor Centre, Rossie Braes DD10 9TA, +44 1674 676336. Mar-Oct: daily 10:30AM-5PM; Nov-Feb: F-M 10:30AM-4PM. The basin's visitor centre is worth a look — you'll find panoramic views across the reserve, binoculars and telescopes, and information on the geology and ecology of the area. Adult £5.50, members & children free.
  • 4 Langley Park Gardens are open May-Sep: F-Su 10AM-4PM, adult £5.
  • 5 House of Dun, Dun DD10 9LQ, +44 1674 810264. Daily 10AM-4PM. Grand 18th-century mansion designed by Adams, visited by hourly guided tour. With gardens and woodlands bordering the Basin. Adult £13.50, NT / NTS free. House of Dun on Wikipedia
  • 6 Brechin. It has a cathedral with an 11th-century Round Tower — they're common in Ireland but only two survive in Scotland. There's also a small town museum. Brechin Castle and its gardens can be visited in late May and early June.
  • 7 Davidson Legacy: Harley-Davidson motorcycles were founded in Milwaukee in 1903 by William S Harley and Arthur Davidson. Arthur was the son of William C Davidson (1846–1923), who grew up in this small cottage before emigrating to Wisconsin. It's been converted into a museum depicting that period, and you can stay over.
  • Aberlemno Sculptured Stones: see Forfar for these richly carved medieval Pictish stones southwest of Brechin.
  • Montrose Beach is long and sandy, but beach, sandhills and golf course are succumbing to erosion by the sea.
  • 8 Lunan Bay is a little settlement two miles south of Montrose, with a much better beach. By the outflow of Lunan Water stands Red Castle, a medieval hunting lodge — it's utterly tumbledown, don't get close.
  • 9 Edzell Castle, Edzell DD9 7UE (5 miles north of Brechin). Apr-Sep: daily 9:30AM-5:30PM. Charming ruin of a 16th-century tower house in rose sandstone. It's made special by the early 17th-century walled garden or "Pleasaunce", with topiary and elaborate carved panels. Adult £6, conc £4.80, child £3.60. Edzell Castle (Q2373236) on Wikidata Edzell Castle on Wikipedia


Brechin Round Tower
  • Montrose Sports Centre is on Marine Ave.
  • Football: Montrose FC play soccer in League One, the third tier of the game in Scotland. Their home ground is Links Park, capacity 5000, east side of town centre.
  • Caledonian Railway is a standard-gauge heritage railway running in CR livery for 4 miles between Brechin and Bridge of Dun.
  • Montrose Golf Links are on the coast. The 1562 course is 6457 yards, par 71, and a visitor round is £100 May-Sep, £60 Oct-Mar. The Broomfield course is 4822 yards, par 66, and a round is £20.
  • The Angus Show is an agricultural fair at Brechin Castle, next held on Sa 8 June 2024.
  • Drumtochty Highland Games are held in June at Drumtochty Castle 5 miles north of Laurencekirk, with the next on Sa 22 June 2024. The castle is an events venue with plush accommodation but isn't otherwise open for visits.


Tesco is next to the railway station, open M-Sa 6AM-midnight, Su 8AM-10PM. No filling station.


  • Roo's Leap, 2 Traill Drive DD10 8SW, +44 1674 672157. Daily noon-6PM. Last thing you might expect in Montrose: an Australian grill doing burgers, steaks, other barbie fare and veggie options.
  • Cheap and cheerful places line the High St, nothing special, try the George Hotel.


Bamse guarding the port
  • There are lots of pubs in the town centre. Try Picture House, Market Arms, Royal Arch or Albert Bar.
  • 1 Glencadam Distillery, Brechin. It produces single malt whisky. Tours are suspended in 2023 due to construction. Glencadam distillery (Q248641) on Wikidata Glencadam distillery on Wikipedia
  • Black Thistle, also in Brechin, distills gin and vodka.
  • Arbikie to the south near Lunan Bay mainly produces gin and vodka, but they also distill Highland Rye Whisky, quite distinct from traditional Scotch.
  • There are two breweries in Laurencekirk 10 miles north: Burnside, and Six Degrees North, which to save you searching in the vicinity of Penang, means 6° north of Brussels, source of their brewing style.


  • 1 George Hotel, 22 George St DD10 8EW, +44 1674 675050. Solid reliable town centre hotel with 25 rooms en suite, good restaurant. B&B double £85.
  • 2 Park Hotel, 61 John St DD10 8RJ, +44 1674 663400. Clean efficient hotel with 57 rooms and conference facilities. B&B double £90.
  • Montrose has lots of B&Bs. Other options are Star Hotel and Carlton Hotel.
  • Brechin on A90 may be more convenient for motorists. Try Northern Hotel or one of the half-dozen B&Bs.


Mobile coverage has developed along A90 inland, so Brechin has 4G from all UK carriers. Montrose and the coast are less well served: as of Aug 2021, you'll get 4G with EE or O2 and manage a call with Vodafone, but Three has no signal. 5G has not reached this area.

Go next[edit]

  • Stonehaven has a ruined castle perched on its cliffs.
  • Aberdeen, the grey granite city, has lots of museums, galleries and visitor amenities, and it's the transport hub for Aberdeenshire.
  • Dundee has Scott's Antarctic sailing ship Discovery, the V&A design museum, Verdant jute works, and great views over the Tay.
Routes through Montrose
DundeeArbroath  SW  NE  Stonehaven
END  S  N  → junction Aberdeen

This city travel guide to Montrose is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.