Once every few years I like to watch again the DVD of the classic 1984 BBC dramatisation of John Masefield's The box of delights. I am reassured to learn from Wikipedia that this is 'a nostalgic treat for followers of cult TV' rather than the equivalent of adults reading Harry Potter books.
If I understood rightly from the first episode, the main character, Kay Harker, who must be about ten years old, is allowed to walk back from town to his guardian's house which is out in the countryside after dark. The book was written in 1935 and appears to be set at that time too. These days I suppose there would be tabloid newspaper headlines and calls for intervention by social services.