You don't say what model you have, but how do you know that the noise is from the engine? - Could it be from the N/S front brake, for example. If you can only hear this then the car is on the move, it could well be from the brake, or something catching in the drive-line.
It is also worth checking things like the exhaust system and the exhaust heat deflector mountings.
To be honest, there isn't much in the N/S of the engine that would make a whining sound, although it is possible that it is from the clutch or gearbox.
It might well pay to check the gearbox oil level.
Hi there almost certainly the n/s front wheel bearing gone, you could jack it up and give the wheel a spin, make sure the jack is safe and doesn't come down on you...not a job you would want to do yourself unless you are very capable, may need to press them out and in...may be able to knock them out, involves taking the brake caliper and disc off and hub...you may even have to disconnect the bottom joint and take the 2 bolts out the bottom of the strut, the hub nut also has to come off,,,good luck from Fred in essex