She studied civil engineering at the University of Portsmouth, and whilst doing so, became more interested in mechanical engineering. Having completed her degree, she worked at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, the Royal Armouries and the British Engineerium where she continues to be employed. It was from here that her television career was launched when she appeared on Channel 4's Salvage Squad – a programme about restoring historical machinery – first as a participant, later as co-presenter. Whilst filming, she completed a master's degree in Conservation of Industrial Heritage and won the Association for Industrial Archaeology Student Fieldwork Award.
Since her university days she has restored and run many different vehicles and is currently restoring a watermill in Cornwall. She is a member of Subterranea Britannica, a society which studies and records man-made underground sites.
Barratt is married to Ben, and the pair have two daughters and a pet dog.
- Salvage Squad, Channel 4 2002–2004
- The History Detectives, BBC 2007
- Rory McGrath's Best of British Engineering, Series Engineer, Discovery 2006
- Talbot Alpine
- Mini Clubman
- 1968 BMC JU250 van with Cotswold camper conversion
- Triumph Herald
- Rover 820
- Renault Clio
- The Pod micro caravan