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 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.