We run lots of different adventures that are great fun if you or your adventure buddy have a visual impairment.
We find that the majority of our activties can be fullfilling, independent and adventurous for all levels of vision and none. Some work well naturally as a visually impaired member of a team, some are best guided or partnered, and some need serious consideration as to how much fun they will be.
If you have no vision at all we suggest you consider first our activities where we travel in multi-person vessels or partake in activites where wayfinding is linear and obstacles are easy to identify and navigate.
If you have a dedicated guide or think you would like to arrange one with us, please also consider the other options below
Some solo activities are best if you can percieve that your direction is changing either by watching the shape of the horizon or observing the suns position (the suns availability is not guaranteed)
The ability to navigate independently and percieve closer details is only needed to manage in cases where the environment is dynamic and it is likely that you could be separated from help or helped remotely.
Activities that are best for those with more vision
Being part of the crew of a larger boat is a great way to get out and about on an adventure if you have a visual impairment. There are always plenty of roles to get involved with, ensuring you're a true member of the team, no passengers here!!
Another option is what we have called our linear route challenges - some caves and climbing venues have short walks from the carpark which take only a little time to get to and are great for those with little or no vision.
Caving is achieved by following the walls and instructors instructions.
Climbing is guided by following the rope, with either radio guidance or an alongside climber.
Open canoeing is a super flexible sport. The boats can be sailed and paddled solo, tandem or as a catarmaran across great distances.
The most usual way to travel any distance is to paddle as a double. In this case only one person of the crew needs any vision.
We paddle all over the country - mainly in the North West taking on challenges from a half day to a full week.
Yacht sailing is a great team adventure for people with a visual impairment or in fact just about everyone.
The great thing is that there are lots of jobs and roles in making the boat sail. It allows people to concentrate on their own task. All roles (excepting lookout) can be performed by visually impaired crew members.
Our skipper has worked with lots of different visually impaired crews sailing all over the place.
Caving is great, it’s all about carefully navigating obstacles underground. Because it’s all in what are essentially tubes this is an environment where people with a visual imparemtn can do as much of the wayfinding as a sighted person.
We cave both horizontally (walking and crawling) and vertically ( with abseilng and climbing).
Spend some time living outdoors cooking on open fires and slowing the pace of life down.
Often part of another activity like canoeing or accessed via the powerboat
Rock climbing and indoor climbing is a very popular sport for people with a visual impairment.
The environment is static but balance, poise and movements dynamic. If you listen to experienced climbers working at their peak - their language is very similar to that of a visaully impaired climber being guided audibly to find locations grip angles and body positions.
A special collaborative and fun way to spend time.
We love climbing in all its forms but there is something magical about navigating through the natural form of rock carved by fire and ice.
There is much more interpretation with outdoor climbing, judging angles, friction and body tension because nothing is designed as a hold.
The most challenging aspect of outdoor climbing is often getting to the crag and getting off the top. We have a wide range of options for close to car climbs and abseiling off climbs (rather than walking off).
Sea Pig is our lively multi-person sailing boat. She flies up to four sails, making her fast yet stable and great fun. She is built for adventure sailing in a small boat.
Arethusa is a Topper Omega and designed to teach racing dinghy sailing. She can and does capsize which is part of the fun
Both boats are great for people with a visual impairment because they are multi crewed and have lots of roles. It’s quite possible for a visually impaired person to do all roles including steering - you steer to the wind direction.
Some actvivities rely on being able to perceive enough infomation to follow a straight course. Typically these are actvities that are solo in thir nature. Those who love being self reliant in their own craft will really enjoy these options.
Where to go and how to navigate other water users is achived by various methods, Including radio instruction, following our bright yellow lead canoes or flags on the powerboat
Canoe sailing is primarily a solo sport - although a guide can be on board to get you started, but you will probably want to kick them out pretty soon because they slow the boat down!
Canoe sailing is independent, responsive and lively with low chance of capsize. The controls all come back to a single board that can be fitted with different tactile symbols for each function.
Canoe sailing is best with some vision so you can tell you are on course and be given a new course to avoid hazards and other water users through the radio. Typically it will be the likes of “sun on your left side” or “down the lake” (where the horizon drops significantly)
Solo canoeing is an advanced technique allowing the efficient (not exahusting) and effective (not vulnerable to wind or flow) use of a canoe by a single person.
This is for those with some doubles paddling experience and has a steep early learning curve.
Solo canoeing has some special benefits:
It allows a couple to paddle more safely with two canoes looking after each other for open water or river paddling.
It makes for a more nimble and connected paddling experience on moving water.
Solo canoes can carry a lot more barbeque and camping kit than a shared double.
There are two types of activities we have put to the bottom of the page:
Those where the activitie’s primary point is looking at the view
Those where you must be capable of being fully independent in an emergency where you could be seperated from a guide and leadership following a capsize. We can build a safety system around your needs but it can be prohibitively expensive with a dedicated safety boat shadowing you.
We primarily use Freedom as a enabler for other activites like sailing and longer distance canoeing.
Her other fantastic role is providing people with limited mobility or a specialist wheelchair access to the water. Using ‘Freedom” as an activty in itself is mostly about looking at the view - which may not suit our clients with a visual impairment.
Open canoeing on a river is the ultimate canoeing experience as you are drawn inexorably towards the sea. Navigating the rocks, bends and flow of the moving water.
Typically these journeys are paddled tandem to provide plenty of power and direction. This means a sighted guide can be placed in each boat if needed. You do need to be self sufficent to manoeuver in the water, see and catch a rope and avoid obstacles and hazards if you are seperated from your partner after a capsize.