In Holland in particular a long period of sub-zero temperatures has led to a rare treat - the chance for people to enjoy the favourite Dutch sport of ice skating on frozen ponds and canals.
Hopes are high that for the first time in 12 years it will be possible for enthusiasts to complete the 200km (125 mile) long ´Elfstedentocht´ - a tour between eleven cities in the country's Northern province of Friesland. The last time the ice was thick enough for an Elfstedentocht to be completed was the January 4th, 1997.