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Cheap Hotel in London vs. a Little More Expensive but More Central?

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I'm planning a trip to London in late August, early September. I don't plan on staying much in my room so I am looking for a simple hotel with the bare necessities. Currently, I am thinking about booking with Travelodge. Several questions though.

The Travelodge I am looking at is in the East End area (in Zone 2 but close to the edge of Zone 1). For $150 more, total, I can be staying in Kings Cross. Is it worth it to spend the extra money to be more central? Or is being further out not a big deal and would it be a better experience to have a base station not in the main hub areas of London? I am planning on day trips to Paris, the Cotswolds, Salisbury, and Windsor so being near a train station would be useful.

Also, are there any non chain hotels that would be around the same price as a Travelodge? Most websites carry the same hotels and I would think London would have more hotels than are being shown?

Thanks for any help.

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