The Flying Horse – Nottingham, England - Atlas Obscura

The Flying Horse

A 15th-century former coaching inn forms the implausibly grand entrance to a 1980s shopping mall. 


Dating to 1483, the Flying Horse nestles modestly in the shadows of its 19th and 20th-century neighbors. This 500-year-old city center stalwart has been used as a private home, a coaching inn, a public house, and a shop. Since 1989, it has formed the somewhat improbable ingress to a charmingly winding arcade of boutiques.

The building was originally constructed as a home for wealthy merchants. But by its 300th birthday, it had been repurposed as a popular coaching tavern called the Travellers Inn. In the following century, the Inn had a change of name to The Flying Horse, possibly to tempt would-be horse-drawn coach travelers away from the competition by creating an association between the inn, fleet-footed steeds, and swift journey times.

The coaching inn eventually morphed into a public house, which persisted long after horses and carriages had disappeared from the city streets, finally closing its door to drinkers in 1989. Happily, the listed historic building was given a new lease on life, being incorporated into and giving its name to the tiny shopping mall that was constructed behind it. As if to keep the building’s boozy past alive, a popular craft ale shop occupies one of the shop units in the Flying Horse Arcade.

Know Before You Go

The mall has two entrances. The 1483 frontage is on Cheapside, close to the Old Market Square, with a rear entrance on St Peters Gate.

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