Joining a Ramblers group walk as a visually impaired person
Finding a walk that is suitable for you
Joining a walking group for the first time can feel a bit daunting. You may be asking yourself if you will like the people and whether you are fit enough to do the walk. And we understand that as a blind or visually impaired person, you’ll no doubt have even more questions and concerns.
We don’t think sight-loss should prevent people from enjoying walking outdoors. It certainly creates extra considerations, but we want Ramblers walks to be welcoming and inclusive for everyone, regardless of ability, background, age, or any other factor.
We have hundreds of walking groups all over the country, offering over 50,000 walks a year and so we hope you will find a walk that is right for you.
Supporting blind and visually impaired people on walks
We’re not able to guarantee that someone will be able to act as a sighted guide on every walk. But anyone with a disability is welcome to have a companion with them on the walk (the companion doesn’t have to be a Ramblers member).
Assistance dogs are permitted on group walks. However, in some circumstances the walk may not be safe or suitable with an assistance dog, for example, if the terrain would be too challenging. If you would like to walk with your assistance dog, we recommend you get in touch with the walk leader in advance to discuss the nature of the walk.
Finding the right walk for you
Ramblers Wellbeing Walks
These are short, gentle walks that are suitable for those looking to improve their fitness. Perhaps you used to enjoy walking but have lost your fitness or maybe you want to improve your wellness or build your confidence walking after sight loss. Fitness level doesn’t matter as these walks are over easy terrain and at a steady pace to suit everyone regardless of mobility limitations. Most walks will be accessible without needing a car.
Ramblers Group Walks
Ramblers groups organise walks graded from Easy Access to Technical. Which grade of walk is suitable for you will depend on your fitness as well as your experience and confidence walking in the countryside. Wherever possible walks will be accessible by public transport, but some walks will require car travel (many groups will organise car-shares).
Check the walk is suitable for you
Every walk and every walker are different. We don’t make assumptions about somebody’s ability to take part. If you are doing a Ramblers walk for the first time, we encourage you to contact the walk leader to discuss whether it is right for you. You can also discuss any requirements you may have. The walk leader will consider whether any reasonable adjustments can be made to the walk to make it suitable for you.
You’ll find the walk leader’s contact details as part of the walk listing on our website. If it turns out that the walk won’t be suitable, and it’s not possible to make reasonable adjustments the group should be able to help you find other Ramblers walks in the area.
Try a taster walk, free of charge
You are welcome to join us for a complimentary taster walk to see if a Ramblers group walk is right for you. Enter your postcode into our search tool to find a walk that appeals to you and contact the walk leader to let them know you’d like to take part.
Ramblers member Marika has been blind since childhood, but that hasn’t stopped her from enjoying walking.
Despite losing 95% of his vision by the age of 18, Amar hasn’t let sight loss be a barrier to walking outdoors or to travelling around the world.