BUBBLING cauldrons and magical portals will add to the fun when a new family attraction opens in York.

Finishing touches are being made to The Hole in Wand in York's Coppergate Centre, with advance timed-entry tickets on sale from today.

Ben Fry and Phil Pinder, the duo behind Potions Cauldron in Shambles, are expanding their business to include the nine-hole mini-golf experience in the former Patisserie Valerie site.

They hope to open on Monday, May 17, assuming lockdown restrictions are lifted.

"I'm excited," said Phil. "It feels surreal that we are in March, looking to open in May and it is two months away. We are nearly ready. The sign is up and we've been attracting a lot of attention."

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The venture is creating four new jobs as well as four work placements for young people on the Government's Kickstart scheme.

Phil said he was confident York would be 'buoyant' again once restrictions lift, boosted by staycations and day trips to the city. "There's pent-up demand."

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He added: "Our course has been designed to bring the magic back into days out after lockdown.

"From our giant picture frame where players might become part of the painting to teaching a special light spell we will give our visitors a fantastical experience.

“At the end of your adventure you will find out if you have the magical powers of a serpent, basilisk, unicorn or wizard and every player will receive a magic potion gift to take home.”

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The attraction will also offer food and 'potions', including a Wand Dog, Uni-pop-corn and GrobbleNachos. Phil said they would open from May 1 for enquiries, and for people to sample the menu.

When restrictions relax further there are plans for special events, including birthday party experiences.

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Tickets, at £6.99, include a round of golf and a potion. Players must be three or over and the maximum group size is six.

The venture follows a crowdfunding campaign which was launched last year to raise £20,000 and invited people to help turn the vision into a reality through sponsorship, with rewards in return. 

Ben, who is also York's town crier, said at the time that they wanted to create an attraction that the whole family can all enjoy year-round. 

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For tickets and details, including Covid-safe policies, visit www.theholeinwand.com

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