It's a sentence you often read: "the hotel is in the heart of London". Businesses and attractions naturally want to make themselves sound like they're centrally located, and 'in the heart of London' is a favoured way to do so.
But where is the heart of London? We investigated in the only way we know: by googling "in the heart of London" and plotting the first 50 or so results onto a map.
View Heart of London in a larger map
The small hearts each indicate one search result — a hotel, property or attraction, claiming to be at the heart of London. Results include many uncontentious examples. Few would argue that Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden or St Paul's could be considered 'at the heart'. But it's interesting to note a few outliers, such as Brixton Windmill, a house in Bermondsey and a Vietnamese restaurant in Shoreditch
Interestingly, if you draw a line around the results, fudge it to fit, and squint a little bit, the resulting spread is itself somewhat heart-shaped. This cardiocartography produces a ticker that's almost 20 miles in circumference. In short, London has a big heart.
This whimsical exercise raises further questions: which bits of London represent other organs of the body? A bit of searching offers the following top results:
- The lungs of London: the parks, as first coined by William Pitt (the elder).
- The liver of London: Leicester Square
- The kidney of London: Bayswater
- The penis of London: Kingston
- The bowels of London: the sewers, naturally
- The rectum of London: Canary Wharf