Born in Yorkshire, Rhiannon Batten grew up in Hong Kong, Germany and the Welsh borders, before studying archaeology and anthropology at Oxford University. After a stint on the travel desk of the Independent, during which time she was awarded Young Travel Writer of the Year, she moved to Scotland, where she was based for over a decade, before returning to London.
Her low-energy lightbulb moment came several years ago on a village-to-village hiking trip aimed at researching a sustainable tourism project. Checking in (with a cold) to a locally owned, solar powered and very picturesque lodge she was sent to an extremely comfortable bed with a hot water bottle, a mug of hot milk and encouragement from the owner to sleep for as long as she needed. Low impact, she realised, didn't have to mean no pampering.
Having written a book on the subject in 2007, Higher Ground: How to Travel Responsibly Without Roughing It, she now writes on green travel, community tourism and nature tourism for a number of publications, including the Independent, the Guardian, ELLE magazine, Wanderlust and National Geographic Traveller.