Montrose, Scotland, is rich in architectural marvels and incredible natural beauty. It is a prominent trade centre along the east coast of the country.
It’s extremely easy to get lost amongst the stunning buildings and numerous things to do in Montrose as you wander through its streets.
Montrose lies between Aberdeen and Dundee and is home to about 12,000 people, often called the most welcoming locals you will ever meet throughout your voyage through Scotland.
Montrose also has a rich trade history, receiving a royal charter from King Edward after accepting the surrender of the Scottish king, John Balliol.
It’s also known for its trade importance up and down the east coast of the Angus region, with its most industrious sector being the North Sea oil industry. This makes up a large part of the economy of Dundee.
And with natural wonders like the Montrose Basin Nature Reserve, the history found at the Air Heritage Centre, and monuments like the Ness Lighthouse, you’re spoiled for choices for things to see in Montrose.
Luckily for you, we’ve compiled this guide for the best things to do in Montrose. Let’s get started:
In This Post
Montrose Basin Nature Reserve
Watching the sunrise as magnificent herons and kingfishers fly across the serene surface of the Montrose Basin is a morning ritual for many people in Montrose, and it is the perfect way to start your morning of travelling.
Covering 750-hectares of stunning sights and blossoming wildlife, the Montrose Basin is one of the top attractions in the town of Montrose. The Nature Reserve also has a world-class Wildlife Centre that has binoculars, high-powered telescopes, bird hides, and video cameras, all to better see the avians of the Basin.
Come see where the River South Esk meets the North Sea — it is unlike anywhere else in Dundee, Scotland.
Golden sand that stretches for miles and shows off the sublime beaches of Dundee and the Angus region are all a hop, skip, and a jump away from the town of Montrose.
Explore the coast and enjoy views of the towering Ness Lighthouse, tranquil blue ocean, and rolling dunes. The beach is the perfect place for families, with an accommodating promenade, town shops, and an amusement park to enjoy with your children.
While visiting this coastal town near Dundee, Montrose Beach is one of the attractions on everybody’s list.
Montrose Museum and Art Gallery
One of the first purpose-built museums in Scotland, the Montrose Museum and its Council Area, has informed and engaged generations of visitors since it opened in 1842.
The museum is home to an expansive collection of fine art, sculptures, historical relics, and cultural touchstones of Montrose and its surrounding attractions.
Shrouded in elegant gold relief, the Montrose Museum building looks like a true temple of learning. Visitors to the centre are treated to a deep dive into history at one of the afternoon or evening talks. It’s worth perusing their website for more information on events and exhibit rotations.
For history lovers and those who want an in-depth look at this coastal town’s past, the Montrose Museum should be at the top of your list of things to do in Montrose.
This 90-minute trail that takes you on a historical journey of the royal burgh is the best way to experience the breadth and width of Montrose, Angus.
Starting from the town steeple, the heritage trail takes you through the high street, across the town bridge, and touches on all of the important landmarks that make Montrose. The trail ends at St Mary’s Church in the town centre.
The heritage walk is highly recommended for those who want a better lay of the land when visiting this wonderful town.
Explore the Historic Closes
Hidden throughout the villages of Dundee and Angus are secret alleys, gardens, and closes that are just waiting for you to discover as you explore the town’s mid links region.
It’s not only Edinburgh and Dundee that are famous for their historic closes; Montrose certainly rewards those who scout the town properly with beautiful courtyard gardens, cafes, services, and alcoves.
Next time you’re visiting Montrose, release your inner child and comb through the town looking for these hidden gems.
William Lamb Sculptures
No person truly appreciates the people of Montrose more than their very own local sculptor, William Lamb, whose immaculate sculptures can be seen dotted around certain locations of the town.
Using masterful precision, Lamb has sculpted full-body works of art that depict Montrose’s everyday people, places, and wildlife. Lamb has also lent his talents to create sculpted reliefs of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret.
While travelling through the town, you may be lucky enough to find one of Lamb’s masterworks in its central parts. If not, it is worth visiting the William Lamb Studio to see the complete collection of this prolific artist’s work!
Eternally memorialised in iron and overlooking the Montrose basin is Bamse, a statue of a heroic hound heralded as a World War II legend.
Owned by a captain in the Norwegian Navy, Bamse was an integral crew member of the Norwegian forces and was known throughout Montrose for his strength, kindness, and courage while he was stationed there.
When this huge St. Bernard was buried in Montrose, the town erected a statue of Bamse to immortalise his deeds and perpetuate his legend.
A hallmark hero of Norway and Scotland, why not give the dog that now unites two nations a good pet while you’re in Montrose.
Montrose Air Heritage Centre
Just north of Montrose, the award-winning Air Heritage Centre in Montrose boasts beautiful and antique aeroplanes from World War II and onwards, giving visitors an in-depth look into the feats of engineering that were used in risky dogfights.
Britain once used the site as its first operational military air station, which gives a deep historical weight to the centre as you walk across its runways.
Now, the air station acts as a part of the centre’s expansive exhibit and elevates your experience as you tour the facilities.
A visit to the Air Heritage Centre in Montrose should be at the top of your list of things to do in Montrose. Its planes and displays provide those that do with an unforgettable experience.
House of Dun
With incredible vistas overlooking the mighty Montrose Basin, the House of Dun is the perfect 18th-century Georgian-style home to visit while in old Montrose, Dundee.
The House is perfectly situated amidst gorgeous gardens, wildlife, and rolling woodland hills that stretch on for miles.
The House of Dun has many attractions within its walls, including incredible plasterwork in the saloon, hidden Jacobite symbolism, and the Angus Folk Collection — an interactive visitor experience within Dun’s courtyard.
A tour through the House of Dun allows you to relive the lives of its occupants and the hidden stories of this immense property.
Scurdie Ness Lighthouse
The Ness Lighthouse towers up from the south side of Montrose towards Dundee and guides ships into the Basin with its welcoming lights.
This beautiful lighthouse was established in 1870 and has since acted as a bastion for ships & sailors of the town and as a fantastic location to visit and photograph.
Just a short walk from Montrose, the Ness Lighthouse is a fantastic site from which to marvel at the sunsets over the beautiful Angus region.
Visit the Ness Lighthouse with its iconic gold-and-white colours, and you will not be disappointed!
Lunan Bay, situated just south of the coastal town, is one of the spectacular beaches that can be visited while in Montrose.
Lunan Bay has had many visitors in its time, from forgotten Viking invaders to holiday beach-goers. It’s easy to see why the Bay is such a popular destination as it boasts one of the most scenic beach views in Angus.
With curving streams that lead into the North Sea, rumbling craggy hills, wildlife, and green pastures, you won’t know which way to look while on the sand dunes surrounded by stunning landscapes.
The Bay often hosts equestrians, fishers, and surfers, so there’ll always be something to see or take pictures of while you’re here.
Overlooking the wondrous Lunan Bay, the ruins of the Red Castle lay dormant and are waiting to be explored!
Made of the famed red sandstone that the Dundee and Angus region is known for, what remains of this once mighty castle is a singular tower and a few sturdy walls that rise for all to see.
The Red Castle is an iconic location against the verdant woodlands of old Montrose and is definitely worth an entire afternoon exploring its ruins and the nearby Lunan Bay.
Charleton Fruit Farm
North of Montrose, the Charleton Fruit Farm provides a fun-filled afternoon of picking fruits and vegetables as snacks for your journey.
Your choice of crops depends on what time of year you visit Charleton, with peas and asparagus in the summer months and delicious berries in early autumn. Check out their website for more information on what harvest you can expect when you visit.
Charleton Fruit Farm is the perfect place to take your family because it allows your kids to pick and choose their favourite fruits. More substantial meals are available at the Fruit Farm’s cafe, which also provides delicious seasonal suggestions.
When travelling with kids, the Fruit Farm is the perfect location for you and the family to spend some quality time together.
River South Esk
Snaking its way from the lands of Dundee, the River South Esk is an important landmark to the people and wildlife of Dundee and Aberdeen.
Home to annual salmon migrations, the River South Esk feeds into the Montrose basis before funnelling out into the North Sea. It provides a home to thousands of conservation species.
You will likely see the serene River South Esk on your travels around Montrose and Angus, but following upstream reveals lush woodlands and incredible landmarks like the Montrose Basin Nature Reserve and more!
Enjoy the sights and sounds of nature as you explore this river on your travels through Angus.
This beautiful red brick viaduct lies on the south side of Montrose high street and is one of the town’s most gorgeous structures. The Ferry Viaduct provides stunning views while atop the bridge, with sunset being the perfect time to visit and capture photos of the Viaduct.
The viaduct bridge begs you and your partner to grab a drink from one of the local stores and spend a portion of your evening relaxing next to the Ferry Viaduct, appreciating the nature around you and enjoying the sunset.
Make sure to visit this beautiful romantic location next time you’re in Montrose. You will not be disappointed with this viaduct bridge!
If you hear the roar of a crowd while in Montrose, you’re likely near the rambunctious Links Park, the home stadium of Montrose Football Club.
You will undoubtedly get caught up on how this football club is doing on the Scotland League Table after just one exciting match that will bridge the gap between you and the locals.
If you want to find yourself on the edge of your seat and immersed in the adrenaline-pumping matches against other teams from Angus, Wales, and England, look no further than booking yourself and a group of friends for a thrilling game at Links Park.
Look on their website for upcoming matches against Britain’s finest, so you don’t miss a match!
Montrose Golf Links
Sitting right next to the high street, Montrose Golf Links provides exceptional golf courses to keep up your swing game while on holiday.
You can find Golf Links at the edge of Montrose, Angus, with an expansive and stunning view of the ocean beyond. It is a memorable way to spend an afternoon in Montrose.
You can rent clubs to tee up against 18 holes as the sun sets, painting the sky around you in beautiful pinks, oranges, and reds. The Golf Links also holds some incredible golfing events throughout the year, so keep tabs on what’s going on by checking out their website or social media pages.
Sometimes the perfect downtime during a holiday is a round of golf, and Montrose Golf Links is there to provide you with both its courses and exceptional amenities.
Old and St. Andrew’s Church
Old and St. Andrew’s Church can be found just off the town’s high street and is one of the most gorgeous churches in Angus.
Rebuilt in 1834, the church is now one of the most prominent locations in Montrose. The church is the perfect venue for photographs because it boasts impressive stained-glass windows and curated stone crenelations atop its high tower.
Whether or not you’re interested in attending the church services at St. Andrew’s, you will certainly enjoy your sightseeing of this awestriking building.
The Old and St. Andrew’s Chruch is a splendid point of interest that sits in the middle of many places in Montrose, so there’s no reason not to enjoy it.