A SWINDON leisure park and restaurant made a surprise appearance in the latest special of The Grand Tour.

Amazon’s smash-hit series following former Top Gear trio Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May as they bumble and banter their way through increasingly elaborate challenges secretly filmed a section in Swindon.

The car fanatics arrived in Shaw Ridge in the final moments of their latest special Lochdown after an hour and a half of coverage showing them testing American cars from the 1970s around Scotland during the pandemic.

The West Swindon leisure park had been dressed up as an American-themed commune which was made to appear as though it had been set up on the Isle of Skye in a new town called ‘Hammondsburg’ which, in the show, had been cobbled together by producer Andy Wilman.

Clarkson remarked on the ten-pin bowling, multiplex cinema and sports bar before parking right in front of The Ridge and heading inside.

The rest of the scene was filmed indoors at a different location.

Manager Luke Jacobs explained that he had first received a call from Amazon in September and the filming crew had popped down in November – but he had been sworn to secrecy about the TV stars’ fleeting visit ever since.

He said: “It was really cool but it was a very hard-kept secret! It’s quite exciting for us and great for the area, it’s put Swindon on the map.

“The show’s crew arrived at around 7am to set everything in the leisure park up and they were a good group of people. 

“The boys arrived in the afternoon in their expensive cars, which was great, and they spoke to us briefly, they seemed like nice guys.

“They were all done by 3pm, it all happened quite quickly. We ticked all the boxes for them and I think someone had recommended us to them so this might snowball into other things, who knows.

“We’ve had so many messages from people who saw the special over the weekend, it’s been mad.

“It’s a massive show so it was really surreal seeing The Ridge in it, I rewound it a few times and felt very proud.

The Grand Tour is watched by millions of people around the world as one of Amazon Prime Video’s flagship original series.