The tour was great, not too hard going or overly long, and would be suitable for all fitness levels. The driver was excellent and I was picked up just before 9am. My tour guide was Jenny, who was lovely, very friendly and spoke fantastic English. I didn't get to go to Prince Gongs mansion on my tour as I found out on the day as it was closed due to some works being done so Jenny asked if there was anywhere I would like to go instead. I said I didn't mind and I was open to suggestions.
The first place we visited was the Olympic stadium, and although we didn't go into the birds nest (which I wasn't too worried about seeing the inside of) I got a ticket for the water cube and got to have a look inside there, which I enjoyed and it wasn't too busy. The next places we visited were the Lama temple, the Imperial college and the Confucius temple, where Jenny proved to be very knowledgeable and provided me with a lot of information about the locations, their histories and how they were still used today. The Lama temple was very busy as the day we went was the first day of the 4 day national tomb sweeping holiday, where as the other two locations were less so. I will mention if you are visiting any temple or big tourist place during a national holiday in Beijing expect large crowds. All the locations were lovely and very interesting to see, as well as providing some good photo opportunities.
Next we went for lunch, which I find difficult when I travel as I'm vegetarian but also have certain foods that I can't eat. But Jenny once again proved helpful and was able to get dishes for me that I knew I could eat off of the menu.
After lunch we headed over to a couple of shopping points. Jenny did offer about going to a silk factory and a jade factory but I said I had already been to these places on a previous tour so we decided on a different place. The first stop was a pearl factory was nice but they didn't offer much information on the history, manufacturing and types of pearls, but that was down to the factory rather than the tour. Also it's more of a shopping place rather than an educational place so I think I may have expected too much on my part.
Last stop was for a tea tasting ceremony, which I enjoyed very much as I am a big tea fan. I had already done a tea tasting ceremony on a previous tour but didn't buy any of the teas at the time, which I later regretted so I was able to get some this time around.
I have to say that if shopping excursions are not what you want on a tour (as I know some people aren't interested in that kind of thing whereas I don't mind) then you may want to look at a different tour but we didn't spend large portions of time at any of the shopping places we went to and I didn't encounter any pushy sales tactics or anything like that. It's was a relaxing experience rather than being forced to purchase anything. Afterwards I was then dropped back to my hotel concluding the tour.