The Marykirk Hotel, Stables Bar & Martinos Restaurant is just five minutes from the stunning River North Esk. An ideal salmon and sea trout angler’s retreat.


The North Esk is formed in the southern Grampians where the Water of Mark and the Water of Lee meet in Angus. It flows through Glen Esk and the southern end of the Howe o the Mearns to enter the North Sea four miles north of Montrose.

Most productive salmon river in Scotland

Although the salmon populations of the North Esk do not have any international designations, the Scottish Government has identified the North Esk as the most productive salmon river in Scotland, yard for yard.

Once the weather warms in the spring, salmon can be taken at the Loups of the Burn, a series of falls about fifteen miles below Loch Lee, and into the upper beats by late spring or early summer.

Holding pools give excellent fishing on the lower beats

The lower river flows through a series of long holding pools, giving excellent fishing on the lower beats.

The North Esk is very much a spate river, requiring rain to give good sport especially in the summer months although the later months of September and October are usually the most prolific as long as there is sufficient water to let the fish run the river. This is the time when bigger fish start to run the system, with fish between 20lbs and 30lbs not uncommon.

May to August is good for sea trout

Sea trout also run the river from late May to August and may also be caught following a summer spate, perhaps on a small silver stoat tube fly fished on a single handed rod of about ten feet.

Grilse begin to run in May and move through the system quickly. The peak run is in July which, given reasonable angling conditions, can result in catches throughout the river. Although not famed for its sea trout, this species can provide interesting night fishing during the early summer.

West Water is famed for sea trout and grilse

The autumn fish spread throughout the system given favourable weather conditions. One of the most beautiful tributaries is the West Water and this provides a variety of fishing from the late spring onwards. It is famed for sea trout and grilse.

Because the North Esk is a basically a spate river and the height of the water determines whether the fish will be running, the weather plays an important part in how good the fishing will be. To check the local weather information follow this link to visit the BBC Weather website for Montrose.

We have many wonderful beauty spots just minutes away!

With Marykirk being in the centre of many places while still remaining in the country side means it’s close to numerous beautiful Landmarks

There are various places of interest to visit, most within a 1/2hr drive from the hotel. Within 25 miles there is the choice of Glamis, Crathes and Dunnottar Castles, and of course, a little further afield – Balmoral.

Marykirk Cross

Within the grounds of the Marykirk Hotel, lies an ancient market cross – the “Marykirk Cross” (now missing its upper transverse section), dating back to around 1650. The presence of an early Christian church or monastery in Scotland is often marked by carved stones, crosses, or cross-slabs; however, in Marykirk, the ruins of the “Ancient Kirk” (built in 1242) lie in the grounds of the newer Church (built in 1806), some 200 metres away from the Marykirk Cross, so it is not thought that this cross marks a religious site, simply the centre of the ancient village of Marykirk, where a local market would have been held. 

St Cyrus Nature Reserve

With a stunning long beach, St Cyrus comes with lots of wildlife, including rows of wildflowers, many beautiful birds, and you can even spot some little grey seals

Glamis Castle

Glamis is well known as the childhood home of the late Queen Mother and is well worth a visit.( )

Crathes Castle

(  ) is an enchanting 16th-century tower house, reminiscent of the great French châteaux. It is surrounded by 240 hectares of formal gardens, woodland walks and rolling Scottish countryside, providing a great day out for all the family.

Dunnottar Castle

( is steeped in history and is one of the most striking and romantic ruined castles in Scotland. A ruined cliff top fortress in a stunning setting on a rocky headland near Stonehaven.

Fettercairn Distillery

Closer to home, the Fettercairn Distillery (, just 3 miles from Marykirk, provides guided tours from May to September.  

Montrose Basin Wildlife Centre

Just outside Montrose, the Montrose Basin Wildlife Centre ( is a local nature reserve home to over 50,000 migratory birds – including pink-footed geese, Arctic terns, knots and sedge warblers, open all year and with a visitor’s centre.

The House of Dun

The House of Dun, a Georgian building designed and built by William Adam in 1730 for David Erskine, Lord Dun, overlooks the Montrose Basin.  It has a miniature theatre display, and the courtyard buildings host handloom weaving workshops.


For golf enthusiasts, Montrose Golf Links has been established as the 5th oldest course in the World and celebrated its 450th year in 2012. Alternatively, Edzell Golf Club is situated in 128 acres and lies in the foothills of the Angus Glens, the mountains forming a backdrop to this lovely heathland/parkland course. Brechin Golf Club is an 18 hole parkland course and provides a challenge for even the most seasoned golfer. The course and greens are renowned as the best in the area.


Kirriemuir (23 miles from Marykirk) is a charming and historic town, set on a hill at the gateway to Glens Clova and Prosen. It is famous for the birthplace of Peter Pan’s creator, JM Barrie, and the little whitewashed cottage is now looked after by the National Trust for Scotland, and displays his writing desk, photos and newspaper clippings. Kirriemuir was also the birthplace of Sir Hugh Munro who did much to make hill walking so popular and who gave his name to the mountains in Scotland over 3,000 feet – The Munros.

RRS Discovery

RRS Discovery ( ) is found 33 miles from Marykirk in Dundee; it is a firm favourite visitor attraction for all ages. RRS Discovery was the last traditional wooden three-masted ship to be built in Britain and is famous for Scott and Shackleton’s expedition to the Antarctic.