03/05/2016 - It's a fine walk round The Cheviot and Hedgehope Hill apart from one thing - the bog. As Rhiannon's folklore post below puts it - '..a perfect bog'. We've walked a few soggy hills in our time but this was something else. The top's so bad they've laid over 1 km of stone slabs to help folk across the flat summit. It wasn't that much better before or after the top as well today. I'm not sure my boots will ever recover. Apart from that, it's a pretty straight forward circuit of the hills from the end of the public road in Harthope Valley. Couple of cairns on The Cheviot and one on Hedgehope Hill to look at but I guess the main reason to go is a day in the hills away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Cheviot is the highest hill on the Border.. its top is a perfect bog, in some places quite impassable from the accumulation of water, which finds its way through numerous deep sykes to the sides of the hill. Mackenzie says this bog or lough, was so firmly frozen at Midsummer a few years ago, that a person walked over it.
There are two heaps of stones on the top of Cheviot, the one called the Easter and the other the Wester Cairn. Persons ascending the hill from the east generally find it difficult to reach the Wester Cairn, except in very dry weather.
On the north-west side of Cheviot there is a deep chasm, called the Hen Hole, in which there is frequently to be seen a snow egg at Midsummer. There is a tradition, that a party of hunters, when chasing a roe upon Cheviot, were wiled by the fairies into the Hen Hole, and could never again find their way out.
p400 in 'Local Historian's Table Book of Remarkable Occurrences' by M A Richardson (1843) - now digitised on Google Books.
There is a small cavern in the face of the highest cliff on the right bank of the ravine [of Hens Hole / Hell Hole], still accessible, we believe, to the venturesome, though dangerously so; and into this it is said that one of the early hunting Percies, along with some of his hounds, went and never returned. He and the hounds, if we may credit the legend, still lie in the cavern, bound by a magic spell - not dead, but fast asleep, and only to be released by a blast of a hunting horn, blown by some one as brave as ever Hotspur was, and more fortunate.
From 'Hell's Hole, Cheviot Hills' in the Monthly Chronicle of North-Country Lore and Legend, August 1887.