Visit Montrose and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Montrose, Angus. Situated at the mouth of the South Esk River, and by a remarkable river-basin more than 2 miles square that, at high tide, gives the impression of an inland sea, Montrose lives up to its attractive name by being one of the most pleasing East Coast Lowland towns. With a long history, going back to the 10th century, and a vivid life of its own today as a harbour and market town, and with native industries, it also acts as a holiday centre for golfers, anglers, and those in search of the bracing eastern air. Its name, though at first sight apparently French in origin, derives from Gaelic and has nothing to do with flowers. Nevertheless the stone of its older central part, drawing architecturally from the influence both of Edinburgh New Town and from the Dutch and French Continental styles, has a warm blush, which it is not too fanciful to call rosy.
“Happy is the country that has no history” is a saying you may or may not agree with, but the once widespread belief that “no one could write a history of the Royal Burgh of Montrose, because nothing had happened there” is a tribute, not a sneer. It is a tribute to Montrose's long and peaceful prosperity, as compared with the savage tales of bloodshed that stain the past of so many other Scottish towns. Montrose owes its deep-rooted prosperity to the excellence of its harbour, and to the fact that during the English wars it was strategically safe, isolated behind its basin. In the 18th century, after the Union and when strategical defence against England was no longer necessary, Montrose made up for the loss of its Scottish—Continental trade by building the Inchbrayock or Rossie Bridge. Originally of wood, this connecting link between the near-island of Montrose and the South crossed the narrows of the South Esk basin, touching the small island of Inchbrayock on the way. This opened up a trade route to Edinburgh and over the Border. Montrose was no longer isolated. The old wooden bridge has gone, and a modem suspension bridge has taken its place.
In a town of satisfying architecture, built in the old days to provide the county gentry of Angus with a town residence, perhaps the most arresting feature is the spacious High Street. This, almost as ample as a Flemish square or place, must be one of the widest boulevard-streets in the United Kingdom. The noble “Sold church” supports a graceful and characteristically Scottish spire by Gillespie Graham (the architect of Edinburgh's Moray Place), and proclaims Montrose's by no means negligible aspirations to seek the influence of the capital's New Town. There is a pleasing internal green belt called the “Mid Links” running parallel to the High Street. The ancient Castle of Montrose is now obliterated, but 4½ miles South South West stands the interesting ruin of Red Castle in Lunan Bay.
In the 18th century, Montrose was a spa and a town centre for county gentry who still (see Dean Ramsays' Reminiscences) spoke an educated old broad Scots tongue. Now it is no longer a spa but a holiday place for much of Scotland. That is not to say, however, that it has lost its prosperous small-town dignity. The gentry in it may no longer speak the Old Scots tongue, but they are unmistakably Scottish citizens in a highly characteristic Scottish royal burgh dating from the end of David II's reign in 1369.
The town's most famous son is James Graham, Marquess of Montrose, born at Old Montrose at the inner end of the basin. It is paradoxical that this most peaceful of Scottish towns should have produced the man who was, after Bruce, Scotland's most famous soldier.
Nearby towns: Arbroath, Brechin, Forfar, Inverbervie, Laurencekirk, Stonehaven
Nearby villages: Ardovie, Benholm, Bridge of Dun, Colliston, Craigo, Dubton, Edzell, Farnell, Ferryden, Fettercairn, Friockheim, Gannochy, Garvock, Gourdon, Guthrie, Hillside, Inchbare, Inverkeilor, Johnshaven, Kinnell, Logie, Lunan, Marykirk, Maryton, St. Cyrus, St. Vigeans, Stracathro, Usan, Woodville
Have you decided to visit Montrose or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Montrose bed and breakfast (a Montrose B&B or Montrose b and b)
- a Montrose guesthouse
- a Montrose hotel (or motel)
- a Montrose self-catering establishment, or
- other Montrose accommodation