FORGET Platform 9¾ - the real magic can be found at the kiosk under the stairs at 5/8 York Station.

The Potions Express has opened at York Railway Station as the city's newest spellbinding attraction.

In the wizarding world, Harry Potter and his friends reach the platform for the Hogwarts Express train to their school of witchcraft and wizardry by dashing through a wall between platforms 9 and 10.

The Potions Express at 5/8 York Station will instead be tempting visitors to linger by serving potions, hot drinks and food seven days a week.

York Press:

Creators, Phil Pinder and Ben Fry, hope their new venture will put the magic back into travel for commuters and visitors alike.

Customers will be tested on which potions best suit their inner magic while a miniature train speeds around the window display and a gargoyle, Grobblenook, takes pride of place on the concourse.

This latest addition from the duo's Potions Cauldron brand will create three full-time equivalent roles.

Their first Potions Cauldron shop at 9¾ The Shambles sells mystical treats and keeps the history of magic alive on the centuries-old street by inviting customers to mix their own potions and be a trainee wizard as a cauldron bubbles in the background.

York Press:

Phil said: “When customers have been coming into our shop on Shambles they rave about our products but many say they have to come back at their end of their trip, before they catch the train home, so they don’t want to carry around an abundance of potions when they explore the city. So when the opportunity to have a presence at York Station came up we couldn’t miss out the opportunity.”

Phil, vice chair of York Retail Forum and a director of the York BID, added: "The Potions Cauldron has always focused on offering the very best experience to our customers, and not just a good experience, the most magical possible. We’re excited to both greet visitors with a spellbinding welcome and wave them off with charm-filled memories."

Claire Ansley, customer experience director at LNER, the operator of York Station, said: “We’re passionate about supporting local businesses along our route so we’re delighted to be welcoming The Potions Express to York Station, enhancing the retail offering and giving customers another reason to choose to travel by train and visit this great city.

York Press:

"We’re confident that The Potions Express will help provide a magical experience for the many thousands of visitors who we welcome to the city every week.”

It is full steam ahead for the brand in 2022, following the launch last year of the Potions Experience on Shambles where guests are treated to a potion-making masterclass, and the mini-golf The Hole In Wand in Coppergate.

The Potions Cauldron topped off a busy 2021by scooping the retail, tourism and leisure business of the year title at The Press Business Awards.

Ben added: “It has been a strong 18 months for the business. We have seen growth across our retail experiences as well the attractions. Audiences are looking for something new and different, and the team work hard to keep innovating and ensuring what we offer is as magical as possible.

"This is at the core of our offering and this new expansion at the station will help us reach many more trainee witches and wizards, expanding the reach of our brand across the country, thanks to our online shop.”