Pidd was born in Lancaster and read German at Edinburgh University before joining The Guardian. While in Edinburgh she contributed regularly to The Student and won Student Journalist of the Year 2002 in The Herald’s (Glasgow) media awards. She was a runner-up in The Guardian media awards best feature writer section the same year, and also co-founded Fest Magazine, an alternative Edinburgh Festival magazine, in 2002.
Pidd began freelancing for The Guardian before her graduation in 2004. Since joining the paper's staff, she has been the Berlin correspondent and worked briefly in Delhi before moving to Manchester in 2013. She is also the author of Bicycle – Love Your Bike: the Complete Guide to Everyday Cycling.