Anna Charlotte Martin was born in Beverley on 10 May 1977 to Rosalind (née Lugassy) and Ivan Martin. Her father was managing director of a pharmaceutical company and her mother was a research scientist. Her mother gave up her job to bring up Anna and her elder brother Adam. She attended Beverley High School where she appeared in school plays. After she left school, Martin studied history at Liverpool University, specialising in the First World War.