Finding friends on Hampstead Heath a nightmare? ‘Worry no more’ with ParkGrid

It’s the stuff of picnic nightmares – the struggle to find your friends amid the expanse of grass and foliage that is Hampstead Heath.

However, such scenarios could become a thing of the past after a digital marketing whizz launched a website designed to stop Heath-goers from getting lost ever again.

Marketing manager Vivienne Taylor, 30, developed ParkGrid after watching countless people struggle to find their friends.

The online map is divided into co-ordinates to help people navigate the Heath more easily and can be printed out or accessed on-the-go by smartphone.

The Canadian-born Heath lover, who lives in Dartmouth Park Road, Dartmouth Park, said: “I came up with the idea a couple of years ago.

“The final straw was when a friend of mine spent two hours circumnavigating the park to meet me at the dog pond. Then I realised I needed to create the map.

“It would have been a lot easier if I could have told her to meet me in U19!”

Most Read

The ParkGrid website went live in May and received more than 1,000 views in its first few weeks.

Ms Taylor says she often spots people struggling to find their friends.

“People walk while using their phones and wave their hands in the air and are just completely lost,” she explained.

“Why waste time trying to find people when you could be enjoying yourself?”

ParkGrid, which is free to use, also offers a live weather forecast and a gallery of pictures taken on Hampstead Heath and posted on Twitter.

If it proves successful, she may expand it to include other parks in the future.

Heath user Kate Davis, 33, of Highgate Road, Highgate, said: “I get lost on the Heath all the time, not just when I am trying to find my friends, but all the time!

“The map sounds fascinating and actually very useful.”

Florian Schmidt, 34, a researcher from Holloway Road, Holloway, said: “Recently I was standing somewhere in the middle of nowhere, and somebody asked me where the mixed ponds are.

“It’s really hard to describe ‘go down that way, past the trees or whatever’ without proper co-ordinates, so to have it marked on a map would be much better.”

* To try ParkGrid for yourself, visit