SANTA’S most magical grotto in York has opened at the city’s Rock-plex Centre – featuring the world of Narnia.

Organisers said children can on an enchanted journey, based on the CS Lewis classic The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, before getting to see Father Christmas.

“They start by pushing past hanging fur coats to go through a wardrobe door to get into Narnia,” said organiser Maggie Farrimond.

“They touch the Lamp Post and meet Mr Tumnus, Lucy, the Beavers and, of course, Aslan the lion. They feel the cold of winter, under the icy grip of the White Witch, turn into the warmth and bursting life of spring as they arrive for a special audience with Father Christmas in his own home.”

She said last Christmas, more than 1,500 children, along with their mums, dads, grannies and granddads, enjoyed a “truly wonderful experience” at the Rock-plex Centre, which is behind the Rock Church in Priory Street, with “awesome” food in the church’s Pillars cafe before or after their visit.

She said Lewis’ writings not only made great literature and theatre, but were symbolic of a greater Christian truth. “In his clever use of characters, Lewis makes his point that without the arrival of a Saviour, it is ‘Always Winter, Never Christmas’. The emergence of Aslan is nothing more than Lewis contemporising the birth of Christ into a bitter cold unproductive, spell-bound world, giving us all the opportunity to make the journey of faith, to a place where we can find the spell is broken and it can be ‘Always Spring, Forever Christmas’ in our lives.”

The grotto is open from 10am to 4pm tomorrow and Sunday, next Saturday and Sunday, and then the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Christmas.