~ Back To Top
~ Why Do It
~ The Route
~ Get Involved
~ Supporters
~ Contact
Hi, I'm Dom, and this Spring I'm walking to work.
In late 2017 I had an idea: I decided that I'd walk to work. From about a hundred miles away. I’d just get a train one Sunday night, go somewhere, and then walk back. Admittedly this wasn't EXACTLY the first plan I had; it's had a little bit of fine-tuning following long discussions in my house (and of course at the pub - the cradle of 'good ideas'). But what a plan! Just... go somewhere, and walk back. Simple.

Of course now it’s 2018 and now I actually need to do it and now it's no longer just another of my 'Stupid Boy Projects', so I put this website together to outline what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and how you can get involved. I’m supporting some charities that are close to me as well, so please read on to find some details around those. I’ve had a huge amount of interest and enthusiasm from everyone who has heard about the plan, and strangely I’m really looking forward to it. So read on, and find out more about my Big Fat Walk To Work.

I don’t move as much as I should, to be honest I don’t think any of us do. We all lead busy – but often sedentary - lives. For the most part I work as a designer, which means I’m tied to a desk typing away, just like I am now. Apart from busy fingers, the rest of me isn’t moving. Therefore the idea came to me as a way just to get out and do something. Admittedly when I came up with the idea I was sitting outside a log cabin in California, so was obviously feeling ‘quite outdoorsy’ at the time, and if I’m being honest I’d had more than enough beers which meant I was doing my normal thing of having stupid ideas.

A braver man would come up with something like ‘run a marathon’. However given that I’m 6’3”, 300lb and have a very large frame I’m as far away from being a runner as you could imagine. But going for a walk? That’s possible surely? The idea has had a few tweaks along the way, though. My first idea was to walk from London to Horsham across a week, and I put this to my drummer whilst in California when we were eating steaks the size of housebricks in a restaurant that he couldn't find and I couldn't afford. He politely pointed out (by calling me an idiot) that walking 35 miles across seven days was more of a little stroll. "It'll take you about an hour and a half every day", he said. "What are you going to do for the rest of the time? Sit in a hotel and watch tv?"

His words connected with me, and I decided I needed to make it a little bit more challenging. So after a bit of thought, it came to me. A hundred miles. That'll work.

A hundred miles or not, I do know in my heart of hearts that this walk isn’t THAT impressive. I’ve got friends who go on walking holidays and they do this sort of thing for fun without even breaking a sweat. However for me, it’s definitely quite the challenge. As above I do tend to move less than two thousand steps a day, and therefore walking that kind of distance will definitely be something out of the ordinary. I’m also aware that it could be quite boring. In these days of social media we’re constantly surrounded by people, constantly talking. The reality is, I’ll be on my own. All day. So there’s going to be a certain amount of mental adjustment to get my head around that too.

Luckily I’m in a place where I’ve got some physical support already in the bag. As well as being a designer, I also work at a health care clinic, Total Therapy Studios in Horsham (which will be my final destination). In this clinic I’ve got a number of bio-mechanical specialists, foot health practitioners, personal trainers et al who will be able to support and get me ready. I’ve also a client base there who have given me lots of encouragement.

One hundred miles. It’s going to be hard, but it’s not going to be impossible. And it’s going to be great.

The Route
I started off by thinking a good route would be to walk from London to Horsham, as I mentioned above. However after this received the challenge it did ("Dom, it's one road. You'll just be walking down the road for a week") I needed something else, a better plan. So after settling on one hundred miles, I had to find somewhere that was 100 miles away from work.

Thanks to the wonder of Google Maps, this was essentially easy. It was just a case of sticking a pin in the map a hundred miles away and working backwards. Given that I live on the South Coast, I couldn't come up from the South, as that would mean starting somewhere in North France and throwing a very long swim into the process; I don't think my 25 metre bronze swimming ribbon qualifies me for that task, so I had to find somewhere else. Therefore, I settled on Cambridge.

Just as aside, did you know that one hundred miles is only 0.004% of the distance to the moon, but I still think it’s still fairly far, all things considered. As I generally work from home, my daily commute is about 30 feet, so it’s around seventeen thousand times further than I normally travel. Having spent an enthusiastic and thrilling ten minutes on Google I can also tell you that it’s over half a million feet. And half a million of anything is fairly impressive in my mind.

A few people have asked 'Why Cambridge?', and it's a good enough question as any. I've no real affinity with the place, apart from a very drunken weekend where I wore a cape and almost, but not quite, fell into a canal.

However the reality is that Cambridge seems like it's suitably far enough to be impressive. It also means that if I'm walking 100 miles to Horsham, then I'll be going through the centre of London. There was the option of simply walking one hundred miles from West to East along the beautiful South Downs where I live, however by going through London it means there'll be a huge variation in scenery. If I was to walk all the way along the South Coast, then the scenery would be wonderful, but for the most part unchanging. By taking the route I am, I'll be going through countryside, then suburbs, then city, then suburbs, then countryside. There'll be towns and villages on route, but this gives me a large and interesting variation. As long as, that is, I don't fall in The Thames.


I'm planning to do the walk across about four days, but this could well flex to four and a half. This means that I'll be doing around 26 miles a day, and that's a number that appeals. Whilst it's hardly running a marathon, it's still a marathon distance every day, and this resonates with me. By building in the half day at the end, it'll mean that there's some scope in case something goes wrong (which I'm sure will happen, knowing me). I'm still working out the complete details of the route, as I need to make sure that I'm going to be walking along possible roads (and not just down the M11). However, by my rough calculations it's going to look something like this:

Day 1 - Cambridge to Bishops Stortford.
Day 2 - Bishops Stortford to Stratford.
Day 3 - Stratford to Dorking.
Day 4 - Dorking to Horsham.

A braver soul would walk with a tent on his back and the air of a real traveller, however I decided pretty sharpish that this wouldn’t be a good idea. Not only would it mean that I’d have to carry a tent (bad) and everything I’d need to camp (even worse) but the normally unpredictable British weather could turn it into a very unpleasant experience indeed. Whilst I want to challenge myself a bit, I don't want to punish myself completely. The idea of trying to put up a tent in a rainstorm after walking 26 miles carrying the tent and all the gubbins unimpressed me so much that I'd have probably called the whole thing off before I’d even started. Therefore, I'll be staying in a series of cheap hotels along my route, and eating 40lb of 'Continental Breakfast' every morning.

Get Involved
As soon as people found about this whole madcap scheme, they've asked a LOT of questions. Which is only to be expected. I mean, I'd bloody have some questions too. Lots of people have followed me on Facebook, and all of the clients at my clinic seem to be very interested in it too. I'd love it if you could follow me on Facebook too (I'll try and keep it interesting!)

Quite a few people have asked me 'if I'm doing it for charity' and whilst this wasn't the primary reason it has become a solid foundation of what I'm doing. Working in the healthcare industry as I do, well-being is actually important to me, and therefore I'm thrilled to say I'm supporting three charities through awareness and maybe a wee bit of fundraising too. You can read about these charities below, which across the three truly support mind, body and soul.

The Mary How Trust -
In 1987, Mary How died of bowel cancer. She was 46. Earlier detection of the disease could have saved her life. On the night Mary died, her husband vowed to start a health screening charity to make a bowel screening test available to as many people as possible - giving them the chance that Mary never had. As well as screening for bowel cancer, the Mary How Trust looks for the early signs of many other life-threatening illnesses such as prostate and kidney cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

The Mary How Trust is run by fifteen paid employees and over a hundred volunteers. They truly do provide an invaluable service when it comes to pre-screening and checks, which the NHS is simply unable to provide. They do incredible work, and the service they provide is free of charge. You can read more about them here.
The Samaritans -
In many ways The Samaritans need no introduction. So established are they in UK culture that it's hard to imagine a world without them. My clinic is based directly opposite them in Horsham so we're reminded of them every day, as we should be. The common misconception is that they're there to offer support in the darkest of times to those sadly considering taking their own life, however they do so much more.

Truly believing that if you're given the time and space to talk things through, you can find a way through your problems. They help you explore your options so you can make decisions that are right for you. Not just there to help prevent suicide, they're available to help people who - quite simply - just need to talk to someone. Available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. It's impossible to calculate the amount of people who they have helped. Find out more about them here.
Horsham Alzheimer's Society -
Dementia is truly one of the most challenging things that someone can face. Not only does it cause a huge amount of distress for those affected, but also the people who surround and support someone who suffers. The Alzheimer's Society believe passionately that life doesn't end when dementia begins. They are there for anyone affected by dementia, and do everything they can to keep people with dementia connected to their lives and the people who matter most.

The organisation is supported through fundraising on a local level, and in many ways they take a fresh approach to not only supporting but also educating people around the set of symptoms we call dementia. Through this education and engagement, they genuinely improve so many lives, and through research and study they work tirelessly to achieve their goal - a world without dementia. You can read about their activities here.

People Supporting Me
Many people have offered to support, in any way that they can. The strange thing is that I'm not actually going to need much help with this. People have offered to walk along side me some of the route, which is very lovely but it's as much a test of me being on my own for a bit. Some others have offered to put me up overnight, which is equally lovely (and I may well take up some offers here).

There are a couple of bits and bobs I'm going to need (does anyone have an insanely large rucksack that I can borrow?!?) and I'm definitely going to need some new walking boots. Outside of that, there's not that much that I'm going to need. Some of the best support that you can give me is by way of keeping me encouraged to do this via the miracle of social media, and by supporting the charities that I'm affiliated with. However it is only right to give a shout out to the people who have offered their support at the place of work I'm actually walking to, Total Therapy Studios in Horsham.

Total Therapy Studios
First of all, this isn't a huge enterprise just to advertise the clinic! However due to the nature of what it is (i.e., healthcare and fitness) and due to the nature of who I am (i.e., not massively healthy and not massively fit) people are keen to help if they can. And as I'm very grateful of the support they've offered, I wanted to give a bit of a shoutout to people who deserve it.

First of all, the clients have all been incredibly engaged in what I'm doing. I'm generally seen as someone who takes a light-hearted approach to life, so my plans have been met with a large amount of 'oh my goodness you're doing WHAT?!?!' Thanks to everyone who has taken an interest, and followed me via social media. Your encouragement means the absolute world to me.

With two sports therapists (Jack and Sarah) and a Physiotherapist (Nicola) there's a huge amount of interest in making sure my body is working right to be able to do what I'm doing. Jack needs to get me on the treadmill so he can work out what's happening with my left foot, and I'm going to be given the full workout I know. Julie, who is a world class foot health practitioner will be making sure my feet are in working order, certainly before and will be fixing my poor feet afterwards I know. I'll be hitting up Charlotte, the Clinical Nutritionist to make sure I'm eating the right things on route (otherwise I'll just live on petrol station sandwiches). I'm supported by everyone, thank you so much for your encouragement.

Get in Contact
I'd love to hear from you. Everyone's engagement in the whole process is what has transformed a silly idea into a bit of an adventure, and therefore when people talk to me about the walk it just encourages me further. If you'd like to be involved and support, then you can drop me an email below. Alternatively, feel free to follow me on Facebook with the link below.

I'll try and keep the Facebook posts as interesting as I can (there's nothing worse than just looking at pictures of maps, is there?) When I embark on the walk in April/May then I'll be posting live updates and videos so you can keep an eye on me. You'll also be able to track my progress live via satellite, mainly so you can make sure that I haven't jumped into an Uber.

Follow me here

Email me here
So there you go. Thanks for reading. Now, let's walk to work, shall we? It's a long old way, and I've only got so long to prepare.
Dom's Big Fat Walk To Work

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