Frances at home

Frances’ passion for travel was ignited at the age of 17 following a school scholarship to Venice. Since then, she has travelled in almost 100 countries but specialises in particular in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

Frances contributes articles and images to international newspapers and magazines, and writes and photographs for the UK’s leading guidebook publishers including Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Dorling Kindersley and Insight. She lectures and consults widely on travel, with clients ranging from governmental organisations and banks to TV production companies, major travel shows, and international conferences. She also presents and produces for TV and radio.



11x ' O' Levels; 6x 'A' Levels (Latin, English, History of Art, Spanish, Italian, French); BA Hons degree Latin (London University; subjects included History, Literature, Archaeology, Art); DUEFE (Diplôme Universitaire des Etudes Européennes et Françaises; University of Lille, Institut Français, London (in French); subjects included European Politics, History, Economics & Law); MA African & Middle Eastern History (SOAS, London; Subjects include History, Amharic & Arabic).



​BA Hons; MA; DUEFE (see Education above); FRGS (Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society); LRGS (Licentiateship of the Royal Photographical Society); Elected member of BGTW (British Guild of Travel Writers); Qualifications in 10 Languages.



History, economics, politics, and sociology; human rights, social issues and indigenous peoples; art and photography. Food and wine (WSET Certificate, & WSET Higher Certificate in Wine & Spirits). Adventure sports: qualified PADI Divemaster (Scuba Diving); mountaineering (eg Eiger, Matterhorn, Mont Blanc & Aconcagua (6995m)). Currently training for PPL (Private Pilot’s License).

Travel Journalism


Frances contributes articles and photographs to a wide range of international newspapers and magazines (eg  Independent, Observer; Wanderlust, Travel Africa etc), and specialises in first-edition guidebooks, and travel pictorials for the UK’s leading travel publishers, including Lonely Planet, Dorling Kindersley, Insight and Rough Guides.

Her photographic work has appeared in dozens of guidebooks, as well as coffee table books, calendars, advertisements and textbooks around the world (including National Geographic publications, adverts for Air France and American Express), as well as international newspapers. 

She is currently working on her own book, a travel narrative, as well as a coffee table book, and a documentary series on indigenous peoples. Frances is also assisting in the establishment of a foundation to preserve indigenous knowledge.



Frances, presents, produces and consults for TV, including the BBC, Lonely Planet TV, and independent production companies. In 2009, she took a BBC crew into Saudi Arabia for the filming of a documentary series, BBC2's The Frankincense Trail, for which she also acted as Assistant Producer and Consultant.

In 2009, she presented a series of short films for a documentary series on the way that people use their mobile phones around the world for a joint Lonely Planet-Nokia venture. She has also acted as travel advisor and presenter for BBC World's travel TV show, Fast Track, among many other radio and TV and radio appearances. 



Frances has given presentations about travel and tourism at conferences around the world, including at the RGS (Royal Geographical Society), London, and the CES Show in Las Vegas. Regular radio and TV contributions have included BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, Excess Baggage; Simon Calder's Travel Clinic, & in Australia, ABC TV and radio.

She also chairs debates on travel, including at the RGS with Jonathan Dimbleby and Gus Casely-Hayford in 2010, and at the ITB Travel Show in Berlin in 2013. Other talks have included regular appearances at the Daily Telegraph Adventure Travel Show, The Times’ Destinations, and TNT's The UK's Top Travel Writers. Frances has been invited to lecture at venues ranging from London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, and BBC Worldwide, Citigroup, and Yahoo, to major schools at home and abroad. She also consults for companies with interests in her specialist countries, including the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office), London, for whom she fronted a nationwide media campaign to promote safer travel abroad during students’ gap years.



According to the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London, Frances became the first official independent traveller to gain access to Saudi Arabia in 2007, and the first woman to travel there solo. Her blog about her experiences attracted more traffic to the Lonely Planet website than any before or since. 



Frances' first, 1st-edition guidebook, Ethiopia, Eritrea & Djibouti, was nominated for the Travellex-Observer Guidebook of the Year Award, and was dubbed "Lonely Planet's best ever" by readers and reviewers (see Book Reviews) and is still considered a benchmark by the publisher.

Her awards include from the ATA (American Travel Association) presented at the Pan-African Conference on Travel and Tourism in May 2000, and in 2001 from the Ethiopian government for her contribution to tourism.


If you wish to get in touch with Frances, please visit the Contact page.