Walking with partial sight or blindness
How to plan a safe and enjoyable walk
Everyone should be able to enjoy the pleasures of walking no matter their ability. Being blind or partially sighted shouldn’t be a barrier. It just means the walk will take a bit of extra planning. Here are some helpful tips and advice if you are blind or partially sighted or if you’re walking with someone with sight impairment.
Walking with a blind or partially sighted person
While blind or partially sighted people may feel comfortable walking freely and independently around their local area or in built up areas, walking in the countryside or on paths with uneven surfaces and obstacles may 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 extra time.
Guide dogs are often usually trained for urban streets and so may be of less help on country walks. Dogs may have problems with stiles and gates so you may want to plan for a more accessible route. As with all dogs, guide dogs must be kept under close control near livestock.
Our online library of Ramblers Routes includes Easy and Easy Access routes which may be a good place to start. You can also find your local Ramblers group and enquire whether they have group walks that would be suitable for a blind or partially sighted person.
Marika Kovacs, has a visual impairment and is a Ramblers member. She shares her experiences of walking and leading Ramblers walks
Take your first steps to being more active, with confidence
If you are new to walking, Ramblers Wellbeing Walks are ideal for getting started with walking and staying active. Support from trained walk leaders helps you take those first steps towards being more active. And you’ll be amongst a friendly bunch all walking for their own reasons - whether to ward off illness, manage health conditions or boost wellbeing. Contact your local Ramblers Wellbeing Walks scheme to see if they offer walks suitable for those with sight impairment.