Whitehall, in London, is the main artery running north from Parliament Square,
which is often regarded as the heart of London. Recognised as the centre of HM Government, the road is lined with government departments/ministries; "Whitehall" is therefore also frequently used to refer to the overall UK governmental administration, as well as being a geographic name for the surrounding district.
The name is taken from the vast Palace of Whitehall that used to occupy the area but which was largely destroyed by fire in 1698. Whitehall was originally a wide road that ran up to the front of the palace. Trafalgar Square was built at its northern extremity in the early 19th century. The southernmost part by Parliament Square is Parliament Street, but there is no longer any obvious distinction between the two on the ground. Combined, the streets cover a total distance of about 0.6 mile (1 kilometre).