Blind and partially sighted people

Everyone can enjoy the outdoors, no matter their ability. However the outdoor environment can be challenging if you are blind or partially sighted, so it’s important to remember a few things if you are planning a route or leading a walk with blind and partially sighted people. We also have some tips if you are blind and partially sighted and need help accessing the great outdoors.

Walking with blind and partially sighted people

When walking with blind and partially sighted people it’s important to remember that their mobility will vary. While some people  may be able to move around built up areas relatively freely and independently, off-road paths with uneven surfaces and obstacles can prove more difficult.

Walking downhill can be trickier than walking uphill, so if you are planning a route try to avoid too many downhill stretches, or allow plenty of time for them.

It’s also important to bear in mind that guide dogs are often of little help on country walks, as they are usually trained for urban streets. They may also have problems with stiles and gates and, as with all dogs, they must to be kept under close control, particularly near livestock.

Walking advice for blind and partially sighted people

If you are blind or partially sighted, you will be pleased to know that there are routes and trails that have been designed with you in mind. These routes are easy to navigate, shorter in length and include features that make use of other senses. Find out more about easy access routes below.

If you fancy something a bit longer, consider walking with a sighted companion who can act as a guide. Some local Ramblers groups organise walks for blind and partially sighted people – see below for contact details.

Further information

  • Contact your Ramblers Area to find out if your local group organises walks for blind and partially sighted people
  • Search our online library of walking routes, Ramblers Routes, for Easy Access and Easy routes
  • Search our Group Walks Finder for Easy Access and Easy group led walks
  • The RNIB has information on local rambling clubs and walking holidays for blind and partially sighted people 
  • Contact local libraries; information centres and local blind groups. Some groups can put you in touch with people locally who are prepared to take small groups or individuals on walks
  • The Ramblers’ magazine Walk is available as a talking book – contact the Ramblers for details
  • Information on walking with Guide Dogs