When my husband and I first moved to England, we liked going out for walks around our little village. It was nothing we needed a map for, as we just followed the main road to a farm track, and back along the same road. We'd see deer and sometimes bison, on the land surrounding the house, as the landowners raised them for food. There was an old castle that was renovated and turned into a house, a few old ruins, and a very old church (11th century!).
We found a series of books, by the author Paul Hannon, dedicated to walking around the country. In the one for our area, there were about 20 different walks (hikes, for the Americans), in varying lengths and difficulties. A little map was hand-drawn and labelled and a detailed description followed. Sometimes there was a little bit of history thrown into the description.
As we started trying out these walks, they took us places we would have never found on our own. Pathways past hermit caves, lakes, gardens, cows, sheep, horses, castle ruins, public art, pubs, iron mine ruins, and tiny hamlets. Pathways through deep dales and valleys and to the tops of hills and mountains. As we walked, I was creating maps in my head of the layout of the land. The layout of where I now lived. How to navigate the footpaths and bridleways. Often, on these walks, at one point in the walk, you could look around you and see the entire path you've just covered.
We went from a couple of miles to over 100 miles, transitioning into long-distance walking. The magic never changed of finding that little fairy cave or moss covered forest. And it still doesn't.