Excuse my ignorance but, I'm going to London for the first time in June and I've been reading up what to do, etc. I've read about a couple of flea markets in the East End that might be fun to shop around in but some say to be careful of the area and others say its safe. Can someone please let me know what to expect. Thanks
I'd say go for it. The East End is a poorer part of London and there has generally been more problems with crime there. I would happily go there in the day though and there are some great markets and lots of great Indian shops & restaurants. You just need to be aware of the sort of crimes that are traditionally associated with busy, poor inner-city areas (e.g. pickpocketing). As long as you have your money somewhere safe and are reasonably streetwise I think you'll be fine. There are bound to be lots of other women out looking for bargains too!
I have been to London many times and I love browsing their many markets. I love the East End because not only do you get a chance to pick up some great bargains but you really get to see the real Londoners, the people that actually live there.
Pettycoat Lane, Brick Lane market on Sundays is fantastic and very safe (just be careful). Make sure that you stop at the top of Brick Lane for fresh bagels and creamcheese (there is always a line up outside). One of my favorite markets is actually in the NE part of London called Walthamstow - trust me you will not find any turists here. The area is a mixture of Southasian and Polish - their market is on Saturdays - take the Victoria line to Walthamstow Central (last stop) and the market is just outside.
Like any city - be aware of your surroundings and act like a local and you will be fine. Good luck.