Life in Montrose: all you need to know about the town
Stunning views, fascinating culture and a strong sense of community are just some of the things that make the town of Montrosea great place to be in Scotland’s East Coast.
The 12th century burgh has something for everyone to enjoy, from the ancient history and fascinating museums, to modern leisure facilities and an excellent blue flag beach.
Whether you’re looking to buy a new home, or just to visit somewhere new - we’ve got everything you need to know about the town right here.
Where is Montrose
The charming coastal town of Montrose sits between the cities of Dundee and Aberdeen, about 30 miles to the north of Dundee and 40 miles south of Aberdeen.
It is nestled between the mouths of the North and South Esk rivers, affording those that visit it beautiful view points over both.
History of Montrose
The area, which is today known as Montrose, was hit by one of just two recorded tsunamis to reach Britain. In 6100 BC a gigantic underwater landslide in Norway sent a wave of around 70 feet crashing into Montrose Basin. Evidence of this is taken from the large deposits of sand the wave left in its wake, which are still visible today, not only in Montrose Basin, but also as far inland as Forfar.
Although there are plenty more fascinating facts a bit closer to the here and now: if you’re a history buff be sure to check out the Montrose Museum - a fascinating place to while away for a day. Opened in the mid-19th century, the museum tells the story of Montrose through art and artefacts, from the Bronze Age to present day. If your history interests lie with planes, then don’t miss out on Montrose’s own Air Station Heritage Centre – a must for all aviation aficionados.
What’s Life Like in Montrose?
With a population of around 12,000 – Montrose is the third largest town in Angus, offering its inhabitants beautiful rural surroundings coupled with modern conveniences and excellent transport to cities all over Scotland.
Montrose is a hub for international trade and distribution, thanks to its established port. The kilometre-long quayside is equipped to deal with a broad variety of cargoes and is an important commercial port for the thriving gas and oil industry.
The town has a selection of cosy pubs to choose from with good food and friendly company. If you enjoy an urban touch to your Saturday night, however, you can always hop on a train to one of the bigger nearby cities, such as Dundee which is just half an hour away.
Foodies will be right at home with the delicious choice of restaurants available throughout the town, ranging from traditional and comforting Scottish dishes to a taste of life down under with Australian Cuisine.
If you’re more of an eating in kind of person, each month The Angus Farmer’s Market comes to the High Street, bringing with it an abundance of fresh and delicious food and drink to inspire your creativity in the kitchen.
As well as checking out the local history, there are plenty of sites and activities to keep you occupied in Montrose.
Being the beautiful coastal town that it is, Montrose boasts an impressive seafront - ideal for a family day out on a sunny day. Whether you like to swim, stroll, or sunbathe, the golden sand stretches across three miles of coastline, leaving plenty of room to spread out and explore.
Montrose beach also features handy amenities to tie your family fun together, including a modern play area, pitch and putt course, car parking, toilets, café and picnic areas.
If the weather is a little too chilly for a dip outdoors, you can always get your lengths in at the Montrose Sports Centre. As well as two pools, the centre is also home to a 50-station gym, outdoor pitches, full health suite and much more.
For a real taste of Montrose culture, be sure to visit in May – when the annual Montrose Music Festival takes place. ‘Mofest’ features more than 150 gigs over the weekend, and has played host to headliners such as The Beach Boys, Madness, The Proclaimers and Status Quo since it began in 2008. The non-profit event brings thousands of visitors to the town and Montrose becomes a hub of excitement with stalls, activities and, of course, exceptional live music.
If you just can’t beat a traditional game of golf, then get yourself down to the Montrose Links which caters for all styles and handicaps. The Medal course is the fifth oldest course in the world and a stunning example of classic Scottish golf. Its springy turf and deep bunkers offer a challenge for all those who play on it; while the Broomfield Course presents a more beginner friendly game, for those who are keen for a bit of practice before attempting the Medal course.
Things to See in Montrose
Montrose is widely regarded as the culture capital of Angus, and after a stroll through the historical town – it’s easy to see why! With over 20 impressive statues featuring subjects from former Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, to Bamse – the St Bernard who is remembered as a hero from the Second World War.
As well as the fascinating and diverse range of sculptures, Montrose is home to several architectural structures of note. Dominating the skyline is the Old and St Andrew’s Church, with a steeple stretching to an impressive 67m.
The House of Dun is located just west of Montrose and is a magnificent example of Georgian style combined with Baroque indulgence. The stunning country home was built in 1743, after 13 years of meticulous work and precision. Take a stroll around to soak up the masterful design and rich formal gardens.
If your taste in architecture is a little more antiquated, then just four miles outside of Montrose sits the Red Castle of Lunan. With structures dating back to King William the Lion in the 12th century, the picturesque ruins are steeped in the history of Scottish nobility.
The site of Red Castle, Lunan Bay, is celebrated as one of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland and is well worth a visit in itself. Once you see the dramatic coastline it’s not hard to see they wanted Red Castle to be built as a defence against Viking invaders, and why it’s such a popular destination for holiday makers today.
As well as being easy on the eye, it’s a fantastic spot for a number of activities including surfing, horse-riding, fishing and birdwatching.
If this natural beauty captures your interest more than impressive facades, then be sure to check out the Scottish nature reserve, Montrose Basin. The enclosed estuary of the South Esk River stretches over 1,850 acres and is home to a fascinating variety of migratory birds. As well as beautiful views, the site also boasts an informative visitor’s centre featuring regular wildlife events and education programmes, interactive games and a wildlife gift shop.
Schools in Montrose
If you’re looking to move to Montrose with small children, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to education options with six different primary schools: Lochside, Ferryden, Southesk, Rosemount, Borrowfield and St Margaret’s.
The town also has its own Secondary school, Montrose Academy, which has a history dating back as far as the 16th century with a learning institution in Montrose thought to have been established as early as 1329. In 1815 Montrose Academy was built as a private fee-paying school and was renowned for being an esteemed educational establishment.
Today the school has undergone many changes, both in opening to the public and in its structure. However, despite its modernisation for the times, the building still retains some of the original impressive neo-classical structure.
Montrose is also home to a Dundee and Angus College outreach centre, for further and higher education.
Transport in Montrose
However you like to travel and wherever you like to go, Montrose has an excellent array of transportation options to suit everyone.
Montrose Railway Station offers direct services to Dundee, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and even London, with lots of destinations in between. The nearest of these, Dundee and Aberdeen, can both be reached in 35 minutes or less – perfect for a day trip.
For journeys a little closer to home an excellent bus service operates connecting Montrose to the wider Angus area. For example, the Montrose to Arbroath service runs three times every hour, taking just fifteen minutes.