WHEN it comes to fine pastry, the Tyne Valley has a lot to offer.

But which establishment across the district is the finest purveyor of one of the country’s favourite food, the traditional pie?

The Hexham Courant asked its readers via social media that very question and hundreds of you took the chance to recommend your favourite pie haven.

In a close-run affair, Billy Bell’s on Haltwhistle’s Main Street, topped the recommendations for offering both sweet and savoury delicacies.

The company’s chief pie maker, Jackie Gaughan, said: “It’s a good feeling. We are very surprised and very pleased with the result, and it’s good to get recommendations from your customers because it makes you realise you are doing something right.

“We like to try different things and, if it doesn’t sell, we don’t try it again, but I think our customers like how we are willing to new recipes.

“We do a mixture of sweet and savoury, and our most popular pie is our steak one but we do add other things such as black pudding and, for St Patrick’s Day, we made a steak and Guiness pie.”

When leaving recommendations, the Hexham Courant asked readers to explain their reasons why they enjoyed a pie from that particular shop.

Samantha Mitchell said: “Savoury and sweet, and a huge choice”, which was backed up by Steph Liddle, who said: “Billy Bell’s has some great savoury and sweet pies.”

It was neck-and-neck for the top four places with Whitelaw’s Butchers, Stocksfield, claiming the runners-up spot just ahead of third placed WMH Meats, of Haydon Bridge, and fourth placed North Acomb Farm Shop, also of Stocksfield.

Those also included in the top 10, from five to 10, were the General Havelock Inn, in Haydon Bridge, Haltwhistle Butchers, Cart’s Bog Inn, in Langley, Murphy’s Kitchen, in Hexham Farmers’ Market, Brocksbushes Farm, near Corbridge, and the Bowes Hotel, in Bardon Mill.