Montrose is 40 miles south of Aberdeen and 30 miles north of Dundee on the A92. There is a regular train service from Edinburgh and Glasgow and the Visitor Centre is about 25mins walk or a short bus ride away. There is a regular bus service from Aberdeen and Dundee.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre is the first place to come to get all the current information about what is to be seen and where to go.
Dog walkers are welcome on the paths of the Reserve but only assistance dogs are permitted in the Visitor Centre. Please adhere to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code for dogs (see this blog for an explanation of good practice).
Access to the Basin for members of the public is described below but call in to the Visitor Centre for more details.
The tidal part of the Reserve being "foreshore", the Public has legal rights relating to those parts between mean spring high and mean spring low, water marks. These rights include access, wildfowling, bait digging and launching boats. However, being a Local Nature Reserve, activities and access may be controlled by byelaws.
The public has the right to use boats in the channel of the South Esk as far upstream as the weir adjacent to the Lurgies (NO676576) and also in the area called the Trout Shot adjacent to the shore of Rossie Island. Two public rights-of-way exist within the LNR: one (by habit and repute) between Old Montrose Pier (NO676572) along the Lurgies sea-dyke and the South Esk bank to Bridge of Dun (NO663584), the other (shown on the 1865 O.S. map) between the south end of Rossie viaduct (NO708565) and Rossie Mills (NO695565) from where the route passes south to the A934. The route within the Reserve runs along the base of Craig Braes and the tideline to the west of there.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust has a right of access to its hides and the Basin, using trackways on the National Trust for Scotland property, Mains of Dun, at the western end of the Reserve. Holders of permits issued by Angus District Council for wildfowling or research, and those intending to use the hides maintained by the Scottish Wildlife Trust are also entitled to use these routes.
(Higher resolution map is here)
Note there are no road signs to any of the Reserve access points except the Visitor Centre. Copies of the Reserve map (above) and OS Map 53 are available from the Visitor Centre.
Vehicles: The Main car park for visitors to the Reserve's western end is at the Old Mill,
Mains of Dun (NO669591). This is outside the Reserve boundary and is best reached from the
A935 Montrose-Brechin road.
View-points accessible to vehicles are situated on the A92 and the A934 on the southern side of the Basin - the main one being at the SWT's Visitor Centre situated at NO 700564.
Pedestrians: Access to the Reserve on foot may be achieved from many locations, but the principal ones are: