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On a cultural note, Bristol Old Vic, King Street (tel. 01179/877877; www.bristololdvic.co.uk), is the oldest working theater in the country, known for its performances (often Shakespeare) that were first launched in 1766. The theatrical grouping uses different theaters for its shows; some performances are staged at other venues such as the new Vic Studio and the Basement Theatre. Music lovers gravitate to the performances at St. George's, Great George Street, off Park Street (tel. 01179/294929; www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk), a converted church from the 1700s. Today instead of gospel you will hear everything from jazz concerts to classical musical performances. At lunch, concerts are a regular feature.

Bath may be more stiff and formal, but Bristol clubs and pubs are more laid-back, drawing more working-class Brits than yuppies. One of the best pubs along King Street is Trow, 5 King St. (tel. 01179/260783), with its mellow West Country ambience.

Acid jazz and other types of music rain down in Thekla (tel. 01179/293301; www.thekla.co.uk), a converted freight steamer moored on the Grove. The other leading venue for jazz is the Bebop Club at the Bear, Hotwell Road (tel. 01179/877796; www.thebebopclub.co.uk). The leading comedy club is Jester's, 142 Cheltenham Rd. (tel. 01179/096655; www.jesterscomedyclub.co.uk). Covers range from £5 to £20 but can vary depending on the entertainment offered.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.